Review: ‘Coffee & Kareem,’ starring Ed Helms, Terrence Little Gardenhigh and Taraji P. Henson

April 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

Ed Helms and Terrence Little Gardenhigh in “Coffee & Kareem” (Photo by Justina Mintz)

“Coffee & Kareem”

Directed by Michael Dowse

Culture Representation: Taking place in Detroit, the slapstick action comedy “Coffee & Kareem” has a racially diverse cast that includes representation of white people, African Americans and Asians in the middle class or criminal underworld.

Culture Clash: A white cop who’s dating an African American single mother has a hard time being accepted by her son, and somehow they all end up in a dangerous battle against drug-dealing, murderous gangsters.

Culture Audience: “Coffee & Kareem” will appeal mostly to people who like comedy to be as offensive and dumb as possible.

Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Little Gardenhigh and Ed Helms in “Coffee & Kareem” (Photo by Justina Mintz)

Before anyone is subjected to the toxic dump that is “Coffee & Kareem,” there should be plenty of warnings about how this loathsome movie has a perverted fixation on boys being sexualized. Every 10 minutes in this so-called “comedy,” there’s a joke about men having sex with boys, or the movie’s 12-year-old boy shouts to men, “Suck my dick!,” and other sexual commands that are much more explicit.

There is nothing new about films with underage actors saying very adult things in the name of comedy. (Two examples are 2010’s “Kick-Ass” and 2019’s “Good Boys.”) But those other movies about kids saying adult things weren’t about the constant repetition of pedophilia jokes. “Coffee & Kareem” takes this gimmick to such depraved and unfunny levels that it says a lot about the disgusting mindsets of screenwriter Shane Mack and director Michael Dowse and how creatively bankrupt they are to use pedophilia as a running joke in this trashy movie.

“Coffee & Kareem” is also filled with a lot of racist stereotypes and homophobic comments that are also supposed to pass as “jokes.” It’s a shame that Taraji P. Henson, who is capable of doing Oscar-caliber work and who talks a lot about empowering African Americans, seems to be flushing her career down the toilet by doing this pathetic, degrading excuse of a movie. “Coffee & Kareem” is an insult not just to African Americans but also to anyone who wants raunchy comedies to actually be funny. Whatever she got paid for making this garbage movie isn’t worth the credibility that she’s lost by attaching herself to this racist crap.

It should come as no surprise that there isn’t much of a plot to “Coffee & Kareem,” which seems to exist for the purpose of making a black boy look as ghetto, ignorant and nasty as possible. Terrence Little Gardenhigh is the foul-mouthed 12-year-old brat Kareem Manning, the son of single mother Vanessa Manning (played by Henson), who is under the delusion that Kareem is a lovable and nice kid.

They live in Detroit, where Vanessa is dating an awkward and nerdy cop named Jim Coffee (played by Ed Helms, in yet another of his long list of awkward and nerdy character roles). Not surprisingly, Kareem doesn’t approve of the relationship. In the beginning of the movie, after Kareem is dropped off at school, Coffee stops by Vanessa’s house so they can have a romantic tryst.

But, of course, since this movie is obsessed with sexualizing Kareem, he’s come back home to retrieve his phone, and he sees his mother and Coffee having sex. It’s an excuse for the filmmakers to make Kareem say angrily about Coffee, “That fucking pig stuck his dick in the wrong blanket.” And that’s one of the tamer things that Kareem says in the movie.

Kareem is a wannabe rapper (how unoriginal) who, as it’s shown soon enough in the movie, is quick to accuse any male adult of trying to sexually molest him if they dare to try to discipline him when he’s breaking rules. Coffee is no exception to these hateful threats from Kareem. It’s a “joke” that gets old very quickly and it’s over-used to the point where you have to wonder why these filmmakers are so fixated on men performing sex acts on boys, because it’s mentioned so many times in this movie. Helms gets some of the blame here too, since he’s one of the film’s producers.

Coffee is not just disrespected by Kareem, but he also has problems getting respect in his workplace. One of Coffee’s fellow cops—an ambitious and aggressive detective named Watts (played by Betty Gilpin)—frequently ridicules him. Watts thinks that Coffee is a wimp, and she doesn’t hesitate to humiliate him in front of their co-workers, including taunting Coffee over the fact that his ex-wife cheated on him with numerous men and eventually left him.

Watts’ constant insults about Coffee’s sex life and manhood reach a point where Coffee has filed a sexual-harassment complaint against her, but their supervisor Captain Hill (played by David Alan Grier) doesn’t take the complaint seriously and dismisses it. The captain also doesn’t want to reprimand Watts, who is a star on the police force, since she’s led a recent high-profile drug bust that confiscated almost one ton of cocaine. The drug dealer responsible for this drug inventory is named Orlando Johnson (played by RonReaco Lee), and he was arrested as part of the drug bust.

But to add to Coffee’s further humiliation, while Orlando was being transported in the back of Coffee’s squad car, Orlando escaped and stole the car. And it was all caught on surveillance video, so the escape is shown on the news. (Apparently, the Detroit Police Department doesn’t want Coffee to have a cop partner, since he’s never seen with a partner.) Because of this major blunder of letting Orlando escape, Coffee gets all the blame and is demoted to traffic duty.

Meanwhile, even though he’s only 12 years old, Kareem has a plan to get a local gangster to “scare off” Coffee, so that Coffee will stop dating Kareem’s mother. And wouldn’t you know, out of all the criminals he wants to recruit to do this dirty deed, it’s Orlando. This movie is so dumb that it wants viewers to believe that even though Kareem doesn’t know Orlando, he can somehow find him in the big city of Detroit and pay piggy-bank-level money (literally a bag of coins) to do something bad to Coffee.

One day, Coffee picks Kareem up from school, and Kareem asks Coffee for a ride to a seedy part of town. Kareem goes to a boxing gym (which is really Orlando’s gangster hideout) with his bag of coins to pay Orlando to rough up Coffee. On the way to this destination, Coffee shows Kareem his police baton as a way to try to impress Kareem and perhaps form a friendly bond with him.

Kareem asks about the baton, “Ever wonder how far you can get that down your throat?” Coffee replies, “That’s not what it’s for.” Kareem responds, “Because it tastes like the ass of an innocent black man?” That’s what passes for humor in this movie. And that’s one of the least rude and crude things that Kareem says in “Coffee & Kareem.”

Before Kareem goes into the boxing-gym room to do the deal, he begins video recording on his phone so that he can upload it later on social media. When he gets in the room, Kareem sees Orlando with two of his thug cohorts—wannabe intellectual Rodney (played by Andrew Bachelor) and trigger-happy dimwit Dee (played by William “Big Sleeps” Stewart). They’ve tied up and tortured one of Coffee’s fellow police officers, Steve Choi (played by Terry Chen), for reasons that are revealed in the movie. (Not that anyone with a brain will care by then.)

Some chaos ensues, and Choi is shot and killed by Dee. Hearing the commotion, Coffee enters the room and tries to arrest the three criminals. It’s easy to predict how badly this goes. There’s a shootout, and soon Coffee and Kareem are running for their lives. But before they race off, Kareem accidentally drops his phone, which recorded the murder. And, of course, Orlando finds the phone and uses it to find out Kareem’s identity and where he lives.

Coffee becomes a wanted man by police because he unrealistically gets accused of murdering Choi. Coffee is also falsely accused of kidnapping of Kareem. Coffee’s fugitive status is all over the news media. And so, not only are Coffee and Kareem try to hide from the gangsters, they’re also on the run from the police. They go to Vanessa’s house to tell her what’s going on, and she too gets involved in this ridiculous mess.

“Coffee & Kareem” then devolves further into over-the-top shootouts, car chases, kidnappings and Kareem’s never-ending fixation on men performing sex acts on him. There’s a final insipid showdown involving massive explosions where one of the main characters is able to unrealistically walk out of a building that was completely destroyed by an explosion. Perhaps the only thing that can be described as entertaining in “Coffee & Kareem” is Gilpin’s totally unhinged performance (which is the best thing about this very bad film), but it’s not enough to overcome all of the stupid filth that’s in this movie.

Henson and Helms should get no praise at all for their acting in this film, since they’re just rehashing the same types of characters that they’ve played in pretty much every comedy that they do. Henson always plays someone quick-tempered and “sassy,” while Helms always plays a dork who gets caught up in situations that are way over his head. As for Gardenhigh, who plays the completely obnoxious Kareem, “Coffee & Kareem” is his first feature film. And based on the horrible impression that he leaves, it’ll probably be a while before he gets another starring role in a major feature-length movie.

“Coffee & Kareem” is so repulsive that everyone involved in making this trash should be ashamed to be associated with it. If “Coffee & Kareem” were available to buy or rent as a separate movie, instead of being a movie that’s exclusive to Netflix, then there would be and should be a whole lot of people demanding refunds.

Netflix premiered “Coffee and Kareem” on April 3, 2020.

Review: ‘Clover,’ starring Mark Webber, Jon Abrahams, Nicole Elizabeth Berger, Chazz Palminteri, Tichina Arnold, Erika Christensen and Julia Jones

April 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

Nicole Elizabeth Berger, Jon Abrahams and Mark Webber in “Clover” (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Digital Media)

“Clover”

Directed by Jon Abrahams

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed big city in the U.S., the campy crime drama “Clover” has a predominantly white (with some African American and Native American representation) cast of characters involved in the criminal underworld.

Culture Clash: Two Irish American brothers who owe $50,000 to an Italian American crime boss go on the run when they get blamed for the death of the crime boss’ only son, and a teenage girl gets involved in their shenanigans.

Culture Audience: “Clover” will appeal mostly to people looking for a very lowbrow crime caper for escapist entertainment.

Chazz Palminteri in “Clover” (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Digital Media)

The title of the campy crime drama “Clover” is kind of misleading, because the title character—a teenage girl named Clover—isn’t the main character of the story, and she doesn’t show up until 23 minutes into this 101-minute movie. “Clover” is really about the bickering Irish American fraternal twin brothers who are at the center of the movie and whose actions propel almost everything that happens in the story.

Mickey (played by Jon Abrahams, who directed “Clover) and Jackie (played by Mark Webber) are the owners of a seedy bar, which they inherited from their late father. Their mother has also passed away. From the get go, viewers see that the brothers are complete opposites and they don’t get along with each other. Mickey is the responsible brother who has more common sense, while Jackie is the screw-up brother who makes a lot of dumb decisions.

One of these dumb decisions is Jackie losing $50,000 in a blackjack game, when the money was supposed to go to repaying a debt that the brothers owe to local crime boss Tony Davallo (played by Chazz Palminteri, in yet another gangster role). When Mickey finds out, he and Jackie into a knock-down, drag-out fight before heading to Tony’s lair (a bar located in the basement of a bowling alley) to tell him that they don’t have the money and hope that they don’t get assaulted or worse by Tony’s goons.

Tony is every bit the stereotypical crime boss that’s been portrayed in dozens of movies and TV shows. He’s angry that the brothers don’t have his money,  but he makes them a deal: He’ll erase the debt if Mickey and Jackie accompany Tony’s only son Joey (played by Michael Godere) to collect a debt from another deadbeat, who owes $80,000 to Tony.

Of course, it’s not as simple as just collecting a debt. Mickey knows it, and senses that they’re about to get involved in a violent crime, even though Joey (a cocaine-snorting thug) not very convincingly denies it. Mickey tries to talk his way out of going, but he and Jackie don’t have much of a choice, so they go with Tony and break into the man’s home.

The guy who owes Tony the $80,000 debt is named Barry (played by Sky Paley), and he’s surprised by this late-night break-in. In short order, Barry is brought down to a basement, tied up, and beaten by Joey, who then shoots and kills Barry, as horrified Mickey and Jackie look on. A fight ensues because the brothers don’t want to be involved in a murder. Joey loses his grip on his gun, and the next thing you know, Joey is shot dead by a teenage girl wearing a hoodie, who says she’s Barry’s daughter Clover.

Mickey and Jackie know that Tony will blame them for Joey’s death. Meanwhile, Clover (played by Nicole Elizabeth Berger) thinks that Mickey and Jackie killed Barry, even though they tell her that Joey really committed the murder. Clover doesn’t seem to know what’s the truth. So, in order for her not to go to the police, Mickey and Jackie force Clover to go on the run with them, which takes up nearly the rest of the movie. And where is Clover’s mother? She tells Jackie and Mickey that her mother is dead, but that might or might not be true.

“Clover” is the type of silly “mobsters are after us” movie that has a lot of gun shootouts where people corner each other with guns, but then stand around talking and insulting each other before anyone actually starts shooting. Mickey, Jackie and Clover’s panicky race to outrun and hide from Tony and his henchmen take them to different places during the course of the movie.

The first place they run to is a bar owned by a tough-as-nails family friend named Pat (played by Tichina Arnold), where they barely escape when Tony’s thugs catch up to them there. Somehow, Mickey (who’s supposed to be the smart brother) is shocked that the thugs would think of tracking them down at the bar, even though it’s owned by a known family friend of the brothers. Yes, it’s not good idea to try and hide at the most obvious places.

Another hideout that the brothers try is the apartment of Jackie’s ex-girlfriend Angie (Jessica Szohr). She’s reluctant to help them at first, but she takes pity on Clover. Angie also still has feelings for dimwitted Jackie (of course she does), so that’s why Angie ends up driving with all of them in her car to go where they need to go. They also stop along the way at the home of their childhood friend Stevie (played by Johnny Messner), a cop whose father co-founded the bar with Mickey and Jackie’s father.

For people who are trying to lay low and hide, they sure are hopping all over town. Mickey, Jackie, Clover and Angie then end up an abandoned train station (where the pace of the movie starts to drag for a while), which is the scene of another unrealistic shootout. And then there’s another stop, this time at an abandoned warehouse occupied by Mickey and Jackie’s loopy cousin Terry (played by Jake Weber), who has escaped from a psychiatric institution. The scenes with Terry have the best comedy in the movie, which isn’t saying much because “Clover” isn’t exactly a treasure trove of clever and funny dialogue.

Also in the mix are female assassins Gertie (played by Erika Christensen) and Virginia (played by Julia Jones), a lesbian couple who argue over things like whether or not coal fire or wood fire is better for making pizza or burning bones. Gertie and Virginia are hired by Tony to find Mickey, Jackie and Clover. They are ruthless, cold and calculating—making them possibly more dangerous than Tony’s thugs.

And there’s another character, who’s seen only in the beginning and end of the film: a mysterious wealthy guy named Mister Wiley (played by Ron Perlman, who clearly had fun hamming it up in with this over-the-top character) whose connection to the story is made clear at the very end. The only thing that viewers really see of Mister Wiley in the beginning is that he’s a mean-spirited control freak who yells at a house employee for entering a meeting room he’s in when the door was closed. He also says things like, “The pecking order must not be disrupted or else we will have chaos.”

To its credit, “Clover” doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the screenplay by Michael Testone is still so awful (including the story’s big plot twists) that viewers might find themselves laughing at scenes that weren’t really intended to be funny. “Clover” takes place in the present day, but it also tries to have a 1970s vibe. The soundtrack tunes from little-known artists such as Charles Bradley and El Michels Affair try to evoke the same aura as gritty crime movies that Al Pacino or Pam Grier would’ve starred in the mid-1970s. However, the ’70s-styled retro music choices would work better for a movie that’s more authentic than “Clover” is, because “Clover” is about as realistic as a “Ren & Stimpy” cartoon.

With “Clover,” Abrahams shows that he can capably direct himself in a movie—he’s the best actor out of the characters who are on the run from crime boss Tony—and the action scenes are adequate, but they’re often ruined by the terrible and corny dialogue. The well-known veteran actors in the cast don’t really add much substance, because they’re playing character types they’ve played many times before—”angry crime boss” for Palminteri; “menacing villain” for Perlman; and “tough-talking woman” for Arnold.

As bad as “Clover” is, it isn’t the worst movie someone can see all year—and that’s mostly because the film’s main actors are at least compatible with their roles. The movie’s appeal certainly isn’t in its poorly written, clunky screenplay that tries to throw in a few curveballs to make it look a lot smarter than it really is. “Clover” is the kind of movie that people can watch if they’re extremely bored and want to see a movie where intelligence is not required.

Freestyle Digital Media released “Clover” on digital and VOD on April 3, 2020.

Review: ‘The Other Lamb,’ starring Raffey Cassidy, Michiel Huisman and Denise Gough

April 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

A scene from “The Other Lamb” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“The Other Lamb”

Directed by Malgorzata Szumowska 

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed, mountainous rural area in the United States, the dark drama “The Other Lamb” has a predominantly white, mostly female cast of characters (with a few African Americans) in a polygamous religious cult, with a few brief appearances by police officers.

Culture Clash: The cult, which has isolated itself in a remote area, considers the outside world to be the enemy, and the wives sometimes have conflicts and power struggles with each other.

Culture Audience: “The Other Lamb” will appeal mostly to people who want to see an arthouse film depiction of a cult and the damaging effects of a toxic leader.

Raffey Cassidy and Michiel Huisman in “The Other Lamb” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

Most movies about polygamous religious cults usually focus on the leader (who’s almost always a man) or one of the spouses. But the disturbing drama “The Other Lamb” is told from the perspective of the teenage daughter of the cult leader. There’s a growing sense of gloom and doom that director  Malgorzata Szumowska effectively infuses throughout the film. “The Other Lamb” isn’t a crime drama as much as it is a psychological, atmospheric portrait of someone struggling with her identity and having her individuality stifled by a group mentality that she has known her whole life.

Selah (played by Raffey Cassidy) is a teenager who’s the favorite child of the cult leader who calls himself Shepherd (played by Michiel Huisman), who definitely has a Messiah complex, even down to looking like he wants to be a modern-day Jesus. The cult is small—Shepherd has 18 female followers, some of whom are underage children—but the members of the group are extremely tight-knit, because they have isolated themselves in a remote, mountainous area that’s secluded in the woods. Why is Shepherd the only male in this cult? It’s explained in the movie, but astute viewers can figure out pretty easily why Shepherd is the only male, based on how he sees himself as the cult leader.

Although the movie doesn’t say exactly where the cult lives, they’re somewhere in the United States, because everyone has an American accent, and the cops who show up the movie are also American. (In reality, “The Other Lamb” was filmed in Ireland.) Shepherd dresses any way that he wants, but his female followers all have to follow a certain dress code that makes them look like they’re stuck in the Victorian era. They wear long, flowing robes—red for the adults, blue for the children, except during their religious ceremonies when the followers wear white. And their hair must be kept in a braided updo, except at night when they’re allowed to un-braid their hair, if Shepherd tells them to do it.

In the beginning of the film, things seem pretty blissful for Selah and the person she’s closest to in the group: Tamar (played by Ailbher Cowley), who is also also her half-sister. Selha and Tamar are shown frolicking in the woods and having fun near a majestic waterfall. And they also help take care of the group’s sheep, which are a constant presence in the movie. But, of course, all is not what it seems to be at first glance.

Selah’s mother has been dead since Selah was a baby. Selah has been told that her mother died during the childbirthing process, so Selah feels slightly jealous and insecure about the other children in the group whose mothers are still alive. That insecurity is demonstrated when Selah gets into a petty argument with Tamar, and Tamar immediately goes to her mother to take her side against Selah.

The movie also shows the inevitable jealousies and power struggles that are part of any group where people are competing to the the “favorite” of the leader. This cult is no exception, as there are simmering tensions between some of the wives and children. During the course of the movie, it becomes more apparent that the older wives feel more vulnerable to falling out of favor with Shepherd. And the inappropriate way that he looks at Selah, strokes her hair when they’re alone, and tells her how she’s special could mean that his interest in her is starting to become very sinister.

As is the case with many dangerous cult leaders, Shepherd has a very charming side, but he can also be extremely abusive and ruthless to anyone he thinks is disloyal to him. One of the ways that he has kept his followers in line is by making one of the wives an outcast because she dared to stand up to him and question some of the things that he was doing. It’s also mentioned that she was also punished for her “vanity.”

The “outcast wife,” whom the other members of the group call “impure” and “cursed” is Sarah (played by Denise Gough), who was one of the original cult members who joined the group at the same time that Selah’s mother did. Sarah is kept in a shack away from the rest of the group. It’s implied, based on Sarah’s bloody scars, that she’s been beaten as punishment. But something about Sarah intrigues Selah, and the teenager spends more time with the outspoken Sarah, who begins to have an influence on the way Selah thinks.

Meanwhile, one night, Selah notices that a police car parked in front of their living quarters. She overhears a cop telling Shepherd that he has to leave, and Shepherd replies that if he doesn’t leave he’ll probably get arrested. The next day, Shepherd tells his flock that they had to leave. Otherwise, he says, “The outside world will destroy us and take you all away from me.”

So off they all go, trekking through the rugged terrain to find another place to live in the area, with their sheep in tow . Even though one of the women is pregnant and due to give birth very soon, Shepherd keeps them on a rigorous foot journey, with Sarah relegated to being  the last person in the procession. And woe to anyone who can’t keep up. Shepherd beats and berates the the pregnant women when she collapses from exhaustion, and he orders her to keep walking.

During this grueling trek, Selah manages to steal some time away to be alone with Sarah. Selah finds out more about her mother and some secrets that change her attitude toward the only family she’s ever known. But there’s also something that happens in the movie that only viewers see (but Selah doesn’t) that shows there a big secret that she doesn’t know about. Sarah tries to warn Selah about Shepherd, by telling her: “His attention is like the sun—bright and glorious at first, but then it burns.” And later in the story, when Shepherd is alone with Selah, she finds out how depraved he really is.

“The Other Lamb” is not an easy film to watch if you don’t like to see vulnerable people being brainwashed, oppressed and abused. The movie can also be quite bloody, since the sheep are slaughtered for meat. And there are also scenes where Selah’s face or hands are covered in blood. She gets her menstrual period, apparently for the first time, and it terrifies her because it’s obvious that no one told her what a menstrual period is.

Because there’s an obvious villain in the story, it fuels the overarching question when watching this movie: How bad will things get and will anyone be able to break away from this cult leader’s reign of terror? There many artsy and stunning wilderness scenes in “The Other Lamb,” which has cinematography by Michał Englert. All of the actors are convincing in their roles, with Cassidy as Selah as the obvious standout because of the emotional roller coaster ride that her character goes through in the story.

The screenplay, written by Catherine S. McMullen, also has a level of authenticity in presenting a  group of people who’ve been cut off from the outside world for years. The children, who were all born into the cult, have no formal education and don’t know any better. What remains a mystery is the backstory of how these women got into the cult in the first place. However, one could can only surmise that this background was left purposely vague because the story is told from Selah’s perspective.

At times “The Other Lamb” might be a little slow-paced for some people. And the constant presence of the sheep is a little too on-the-nose as a metaphor, since obviously the people in Shepherd’s flock act like human sheep. However, as disturbing as it sounds, “The Other Lamb” is a coming-of-age cult story that shows how a teenager comes to terms with the tightly controlled life that was chosen for her and how much control she might have over her own destiny in the future.

IFC Films/IFC Midnight released “The Other Lamb” on digital and VOD on April 3, 2020.

 

Movie and TV Reviews

Reviews for New Movies Released March 27 – April 9, 2020

Banana Split (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)
Clover (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Digital Media)
Coffee & Kareem (Photo by Justina Mintz)
The Other Lamb (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)
Resistance (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)
Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)
Slay the Dragon (Photo by Sam Russell)
Uncorked (Photo by Nina Robinson/Netflix)
Vivarium (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate/Saban Films)

Complete List of Reviews

2/1 — drama

2 Graves in the Desert — drama

17 Blocks — documentary

37 Seconds — drama

Aamis — drama

Advocate — documentary

After Class (formerly titled Safe Spaces) — comedy/drama

After Parkland — documentary

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News — documentary

All I Can Say — documentary

Amazing Grace — documentary

American Woman — drama

And Then We Danced — drama

The Apollo — documentary

Ask for Jane — drama

The Assistant — drama

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — documentary

Bacurau — drama

Bad Boys for Life — action

Banana Split — comedy

Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art — documentary

Beanpole — drama

Beneath Us — horror

Big Time Adolescence — comedy/drama

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — action

Blessed Child — documentary

Blood on Her Name — drama

Bloodshot (2020) — sci-fi/action

Blow the Man Down — drama

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island — horror

The Booksellers — documentary

The Boys (premiere episode) — drama

Brahms: The Boy II — horror

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — documentary

Buffaloed — comedy

Burden — drama

Burning Cane — drama

The Burnt Orange Heresy — drama

The Call of the Wild (2020) — live-action/animation

Cane River — drama

Changing the Game — documentary

Circus of Books — documentary

Clementine — drama

Clover — drama

Coffee & Kareem — comedy

Color Out of Space — sci-fi/horror

Come as You Are (2020)  — comedy

Come to Daddy — horror

The Cordillera of Dreams — documentary

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words — documentary

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution — documentary

Crown Vic — drama

CRSHD — comedy

A Day in the Life of America — documentary

Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont — documentary

Decade of Fire — documentary

Devil’s Pie – D’Angelo — documentary

Disappearance at Clifton Hill — drama

The Dog Doc — documentary

Dolittle — live-action/animation

Dosed — documentary

Downhill — comedy

Dreamland — drama

Emma (2020) — comedy/drama

The Etruscan Smile (also titled Rory’s Way) — drama

A Fall From Grace — drama

First Cow — drama

For They Know Not What They Do — documentary

Framing John DeLorean — documentary

Ganden: A Joyful Land — documentary

The Gasoline Thieves — drama

Gay Chorus Deep South — documentary

The Gentlemen — action

Get Gone — horror

Goldie — drama

Good Posture — comedy

Greed — comedy/drama

Gretel & Hansel — horror

The Grudge (2020) — horror

He Dreams of Giants — documentary

Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation — documentary

Holly Slept Over — comedy

Hooking Up — comedy

Hope Gap — drama

Horse Girl — sci-fi/drama

The Host (2020) — horror

House of Hummingbird — drama

Human Capital — drama

Human Nature (2020) — documentary

The Hunt — horror

I Am Human — documentary

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story — drama

I Hate the Man in My Basement — drama

I Still Believe — drama

I Want My MTV — documentary

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me — documentary

Impractical Jokers: The Movie — comedy

Incitement — drama

Initials SG — drama

Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica — documentary

The Invisible Man (2020) — horror

It Takes a Lunatic — documentary

Jay Myself — documentary

John Henry — action

Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections — documentary

Kill the Monsters — drama

The Kill Team (2019) — drama

The Kindness of Strangers — drama

The Last Full Measure — drama

Leftover Women — documentary

Les Misérables (2019) — drama

Like a Boss — comedy

Limerence — comedy

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — documentary

The Lodge — horror

The Longest Wave — documentary

Los Últimos Frikis — documentary

Lost Bayou — drama

Lost Transmissions — drama

Low Tide — drama

Lucky Grandma — action

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over — documentary

Mai Khoi & the Dissidents — documentary

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound— documentary

Martha: A Picture Story — documentary

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words — documentary

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back — documentary

Miss Americana — documentary

My Boyfriend’s Meds —comedy

Mystify: Michael Hutchence — documentary

Never Rarely Sometimes Always — drama

Noah Land — drama

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin — documentary

Olympic Dreams — comedy/drama

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — documentary

Only — sci-fi/drama

Onward — animation

Open — drama

Ordinary Love — drama

Otherhood — comedy

The Other Lamb — drama

Other Music — documentary

Our Time Machine — documentary

Out of Blue — drama

A Patient Man — drama

The Photograph — drama

Picture Character — documentary

The Place of No Words — drama

Plucked — documentary

Plus One — comedy

Premature — drama

The Quiet One — documentary

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project — documentary

A Regular Woman — drama

The Rescue List — documentary

Resistance — drama

Rewind — documentary

The Rhythm Section — action

Ride Like a Girl — drama

Saint Frances — comedy/drama

Scheme Birds — documentary

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street — documentary

Seahorse — documentary

Seberg — drama

See Know Evil — documentary

See You Yesterday — sci-fi/drama

The Short History of the Long Road — drama

The Show’s the Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock — documentary

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons — documentary

A Simple Wedding — comedy

Slay the Dragon — documentary

The Sonata — horror

Sonic the Hedgehog — live-action/animation

Sorry We Missed You — drama

Standing Up, Falling Down — comedy/drama

Stevenson Lost & Found — documentary

Stray Dolls — drama

Sublime — documentary

Swallow — drama

A Taste of Sky — documentary

The Thing About Harry  — comedy

This Is Personal — documentary

The Times of Bill Cunningham — documentary

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made  — comedy

To Kid or Not to Kid — documentary

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts — documentary

Troop Zero — comedy

The Turning (2020) — horror

Tyson — documentary

Unbelievable (premiere episode) — drama

Uncaged (also titled Prey) – horror

Uncorked — drama

Underwater — sci-fi/horror

Vas-y Coupe! — documentary

Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations — documentary

Vivarium — sci-fi/drama

Watson — documentary

The Way Back (2020) — drama

Weathering With You — animation

What Will Become of Us — documentary

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali — documentary

The Whistlers — drama

Wig — documentary

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem — documentary

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation — documentary

XY Chelsea — documentary

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

Zombi Child — horror

Coronavirus cancellations and postponements in the entertainment industry

March 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

Updated April 2, 2020

Daniel Craig as 007 spy James Bond in “No Time to Die.” The movie’s April 2020 release was postponed to November 2020 because of coronavirus concerns in key territories where the movie will be released. (Photo by Nicola Dove)

Concerns about the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic have led to numerous cancellations or postponements in the entertainment industry. The way things are going in the United States and many other countries, any public gathering of at least 50 people per gathering is probably going to be cancelled or postponed until further notice, if the gathering was scheduled to take place in March, April, May or June 2020. Shutdowns are occurring at public places for sports and entertainment, as well as restaurants that don’t do takeouts and deliveries.

Here’s a list of what’s been cancelled or postponed so far. This list will be updated as more cancellations and postponements are announced.

NOTE: This list does not include individual TV series, movies, plays or musicals that have shut down production until further notice. (There are too many of them to list.)

Academy of Country Music Awards

The annual ACM Awards (originally scheduled for April 5, 2020) and its related ACM Party for a Cause events in Las Vegas have been postponed and rescheduled. The ACM Awards (televised in the U.S. by CBS) will now take place on September 16, 2020. ACM Party for a Cause events will occur around this date.  Keith Urban was announced as host of the 2020 ACM Awards. (Updated March 23, 2020.)

ACE Comic Con Northeast

ACE Comic Con Northeast was scheduled to take place in Boston from March 20 to March 22, 2020, but the event has been cancelled.

AEG Live

Live-events promotion company AEG Live has cancelled or postponed almost all of its events that were supposed to happen from March to June 2020. (Updated March 28, 2020)

All Points East

The annual All Points East for alternative rock music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in London) was scheduled for May 22 to May 24 and May 29 to May 31, 2020. ‎Tame Impala, Caribou, ‎Glass Animals and ‎Kelly Lee Owens were among performers. (Updated March 27, 2020)

“Antebellum”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the drama “Antebellum,” originally set for April 24, 2020. The movie stars Janelle Monáe. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“Antlers”

Searchlight Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of the horror movie “Antlers,” originally set for April 17, 2020. The movie stars Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. (Updated March 12, 2020)

The Apollo

The world-famous Apollo Theater in New York’s Harlem neighborhood has cancelled all events that were scheduled to take place from March 13 to April 4. The cancellations could extend beyond those dates, depending on the situation. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Apple

The computer corporation is shutting down all Apple retail stores outside of China for two weeks, from March 14 to March 27, 2020. The re-opening date is subject to change. Apple did a similar shutdown of its retail stores in China. (Updated March 12, 2020)

“The Artist’s Wife”

Strand Releasing and Water’s End Productions have postponed until further notice the release of the dramatic film “The Artist’s Wife,” starring Lena Olin and Bruce Dern. The film was originally scheduled to be released in New York City on April 3, 2020, in Los Angeles on April 10, 2020, and in the San Francisco Bay Area on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

ASCAP Experience

The annual Los Angeles networking event for ASCAP songwriters and publishers is now cancelled. ASCAP Experience, formerly known as the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, was scheduled for April 1 to April 3, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Beijing International Film Festival

The annual event in China has been postponed. The  Beijing International Film Festival was set for April 19 to April 26, 2020.

Justin Bieber

The Grammy-winning pop star has postponed until further notice the North American concerts for his “Changes” Tour. The tour dates were scheduled to begin in Seattle on May 14, 2020, and end in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on September 26, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Big Ears Festival

The annual music and film event in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for March 26 to March 29, 2020, the Big Ears Festival’s announced performers this year included Devendra Banhart, Anthony Braxton, Kronos Quartet and Patti Smith. (March 11, 2020)

Billboard Music Awards

The annual award show was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on April 29, 2020, but the ceremony has been postponed until further notice. NBC has the U.S. telecast of the Billboard Music Awards. Kelly Clarkson has hosted the show since 2018. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“Black Widow”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed until further notice the release of the superhero movie “Black Widow,” which was set for May 1, 2020. The movie stars Scarlett Johansson. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“Blue Story”

Paramount Pictures has postponed until further notice the U.S. release of this crime drama, starring Stephen Odubola and Micheal Ward. “Blue Story” was due in U.S. theaters on March 20, 2020. The movie was already released in the United Kingdom in November 2019. (Updated March 12, 2020)

BMI Latin Awards

The annual BMI Latin Music Awards ceremony has been postponed. The show had been scheduled for March 31 in Los Angeles. The rescheduled date is to be announced. (Updated March 10, 2020)

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

The annual festival in Manchester, Tennessee, has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled to take place June 11 to June 14, 2020, the event has now been rescheduled for September 24 to September 27, 2020. Before the postponement, the announced lineup included Tame Impala, Tool, Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Run the Jewels and Brittany Howard. Bonnaroo has not yet announced which acts will be performing on the rescheduled dates. (Updated March 18, 2020)

BookCon

The annual book fan event in New York City has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 30 and May 31, 2020, BookCon will now take place on July 25 and July 26, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Boston Calling

The annual rock festival in Boston has been cancelled.  Boston Calling had been scheduled for May 22 to May 24, 2020. The festival’s performers this year would have included Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run the Jewels, Jason Isbell and The 1975. (Updated March 31, 2020)

Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its tour of Asia. The trek had scheduled shows in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong from February 6 to February 16, 2020.

BottleRock Napa Valley

The annual music and arts festival in Napa, California, has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled to take place May 22 to May 24, 2020, the event has now been rescheduled for October 2 to October 4, 2020. Artists originally announced for the festival that are confirmed for the rescheduled dates include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Khalid, Zedd, and Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Broadway and off-Broadway shows in New York City

As of March 12, 2020, all Broadway and off-Broadway shows in New York City have been cancelled until April 13, 2020, but that date could change, depending on the circumstances. (Updated March 12, 2020)

BTS

The South Korean boy band has cancelled all of its concerts in Seoul for its “Map of the Soul” tour. The cancelled BTS shows were scheduled for April 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

Bushfire Relief Charity Concert

The benefit show to help victims of Australia’s wildfires has been cancelled, after being scheduled to take place in Melbourne on March 13, 2020. Miley Cyrus was the headliner, while other artists announced for the show were Lil Nas X, the Veronicas and DJ Seb Fontaine. (Updated March 10, 2020)

CAAMFest

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has postponed CAAMFest 38 until further notice. The Asian American festival of film, music and food was originally scheduled for May 14 to May 24, 2020. CAAMFest was formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Camila Cabello

The former Fifth Harmony pop star has postponed her Romance world tour, which was set to begin in Oslo on May 26, 2020 and end in Miami September 26, 2020. A concert that was supposed to take place in Dundee, Scotland on May 24, 2020, has been completely cancelled. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Canadian Music Week

The annual showcase event in Toronto has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 19 to May 23, 2020, Canadian Music Week will now take place September 8 to September 13, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, has been postponed until further notice. The event had been scheduled to take place May 12 to 23, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

The annual networking event for creative marketers was set to take place in Cannes, France, from June 22 to June 26, 2020. The event is postponed until further notice. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Canneseries

The annual drama event in Cannes, France, has been postponed and rescheduled. It was originally scheduled to take place March 27 to April 1, 2020, and will now take place October 9 to October 14, 2020.

Mariah Carey

The Grammy-winning superstar has postponed her March 10, 2020, concert in Honolulu and will reschedule it for sometime in November 2020.

Ciara

The R&B singer has cancelled her Fort Hood USO show in Texas that was scheduled for March 19, 2020.

CineEurope

The annual cinema convention in Barcelona has been postponed and rescheduled. CineEurope was originally set for June 22 to June 25, 2020, and will now take place August 3 to August 5, 2020. (Updated March 24, 2020)

CinemaCon

CinemaCon, the National Association of Theatre Owners’ annual convention in Las Vegas, has been cancelled. The event was scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 2, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Cirque du Soleil

The international acrobatic dance company has cancelled all of its performances worldwide until further notice, as of March 15, 2020. (Updated March 14, 2020)

Kelly Clarkson

The Grammy-winning original “American Idol” winner has postponed until further notice her “Invincible” Las Vegas residency, which had been set to begin on April 1, 2020. In addition, her NBCUniversal-syndicated daytime talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show” has temporarily shut down production. (Updated March 16, 2020)

“The Climb”

Sony Pictures Classics has postponed until further notice the release of this buddy comedy, starring Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin. “The Climb” had been scheduled for release in New York City and Los Angeles on March 20, 2020. (Updated March 16, 2020)

CMA Fest

The Country Music Association’s annual fan festival in Nashville has been cancelled. CMA Fest had been scheduled to take place June 4 to June 7, 2020. The lineup of performers had not been announced. Because CMA Fest will not happen this year, there also won’t be an ABC TV special for CMA Fest in 2020. (Updated March 31, 2020)

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

The world’s biggest annual music festival (in terms of ticket sales) has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled for April 10 to April 12 and April 17 to April 19, Coachella will now take place October 9 to October 11 and October 16 to October 18, 2020. The festival site in Indio, California, will remain the same. It’s unknown at this point how much the lineups will remain the same. Artists who had been announced to perform, before the postponement happened, include headliners Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, as well as Calvin Harris, Big Sean, Lewis Capaldi, Lana Del Rey, Flume, Lil Nas X, 21 Savage and Charlie XCX. (Updated March 10, 2020)

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment (the company behind Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Suicide Squad) has cancelled all participation in comic conventions taking place in March 2020, including Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. In addition, DC has cancelled the New York City premiere of its animated film “Superman: Red Sun,” which had been scheduled for March 16, 2020.

“Dino Dana: The Movie”

Amazon Prime Video and Fathom Events have postponed until further notice the release of this movie spinoff of the “Dino Dana” children’s series. The movie was originally scheduled for a one-day-only release in theaters on March 21, 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Disney

Disney has cancelled its launch event for its streaming service Disney+ Europe, which had been scheduled to take place in London on March 24, 2020. In addition, all Disney theme parks—which were supposed to re-open on March 31, 2020—will be closed until further notice.

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Mulan” is the company’s first movie whose release has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Mulan” had been originally scheduled for release on March 27, 2020. A new release date has not been announced. Disney-owned 20th Century Pictures (formerly known as 20th Century Fox) has also postponed until further notice the releases of the superhero flick “The New Mutants” (originally set for April 3, 2020) and Searchlight Pictures’ horror movie “Antlers” (originally set for April 17, 2020). Disney-owned Marvel Studios has postponed until further notice the release of the superhero movie “Black Widow,” which was set for May 1, 2020. (Updated March 27, 2020)

Doha Film Institute’s Qumra Event

The Doha Film Institute’s Qumra event for mentor networking with upcoming talent in the movie industry has been cancelled. The conference was supposed to be from March 20 to March 25 in Doha, Qatar.

Dollywood

Dolly Parton’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has temporarily closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Download Festival

The annual Download Festival for hard rock/heavy metal has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Derby, England) was scheduled for June 12 to June 14, 2020. Kiss, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Deftones, Gojira and Korn were among performers. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Dreamville Festival

The annual music festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been postponed and rescheduled. Dreamville Festival, which is from hip-hop artist J. Cole, had originally been scheduled for April 4, 2020, and is now set for August 29, 2020. The event’s lineup is to be announced. (Updated March 13, 2020)

East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference

Canada’s East Coast Music Association has cancelled the 2020 East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference. The event was scheduled to take place in St. John’s from April 29 to May 3, 2020. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Ebertfest

The annual film festival founded by the late film critic Roger Ebert was scheduled for April 15 to April 18, 2020, in Champaign, Illinois, but the event is now cancelled. The next Ebertfest will take place in Champaign from April 14 to April 17, 2021. (Updated March 15, 2020)

Edinburgh Art Festival

The annual event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Edinburgh Art Festival had been scheduled for August 7 to August 29, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The annual performing-arts event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Edinburgh Art Festival had been scheduled for August 7 to August 31, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The United Kingdom’s longest-running film festival has been postponed until further notice. The Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland had been scheduled to take place June 17 to June 28, 2020. The festival’s main programming slate for 2020 has not been announced yet. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

The annual consumer event in Los Angeles for electronic entertainment has been cancelled. Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, had been scheduled to take place from June 9 to June 11, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

“Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things”

Eagle Rock Entertainment has postponed until further notice the theatrical release of this Ella Fitzgerald documentary, which was set for a one-night-only release on April 3, 2020. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Emerald City Comic Con

Scheduled to take place March 12 to March 15, 2020, the annual comic-book convention in Seattle has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled for the summer; the exact dates are to be announced. Before the postponement, Emerald City Comic Con experienced several cancelled appearances. DC Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, Penguin Random House, as well as individual speakers and panelists, cancelled their participation this year.

Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has postponed the Daytime Emmy Awards until further notice. The Daytime Emmy Awards had been scheduled to take place in Pasadena, California from June 12 to June 14, 2020. The show’s host and nominations haven’t been announced yet. The Daytime Emmy ceremonies have not been televised in several years. Instead, the live ceremonies can be seen via webcast. (Updated on March 19, 2020)

The National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences has also postponed the annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards (originally scheduled for April 19, 2020, in Las Vegas) and the Sports Emmy Awards, originally scheduled for April 28, 2020, in New York. The rescheduled dates for both ceremonies are to be announced. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Epicenter

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Epicenter festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Concord, North Carolina, from May 1 to May 3, 2020. The lineup of performers included Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Godsmack, Volbeat, Staind, Papa Roach, David Lee Roth, Gojira, Chevelle, Cypress Hill and Rancid.  Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival will instead perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. Louder Than Life pass holders will not be charged extra for the fourth day. Ticket/pass holders for the cancelled festival have three options: get a refund, use their purchase for the same festival in 2021, or exchange the purchase for another Danny Wimmer Presents event in 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Essence Festival

The annual music and culture festival presented by Essence magazine in New Orleans has been postponed until further notice. The Essence Festival, which was scheduled to include headliners Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson, had been set for July 1 to July 6, 2020. (Updated March 27, 2020)

Eurovision Song Contest

The annual music event was supposed to take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from May 12 and 14, 2020 (for semi-final rounds) and on May 16, 2020 (for the final round), but Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled. It’s the first time in the event’s 64-year history that it has been shut down. (Updated March 18, 2020)

“Fast & Furious 9”

Universal Pictures has postponed the release of this action sequel to April 2021. (The U.S. release will be on April 2, 2021.) “Fast &  Furious 9,” starring Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, was originally scheduled for release on May 22, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Film at Lincoln Center

The membership-funded organization Film at Lincoln Center in New York City became one of the first in the U.S. to close its movie theaters, as of March 12, 2020, until further notice. Film at Lincoln Center operates the Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. Film at Lincoln Center has also postponed the New Directors/New Films Festival (which had been scheduled to run from March 25, to April 5, 2020) and the Chaplin Award Gala honoring Spike Lee, which was set for April 27, 2020. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. In addition, Film at Lincoln Center’s membership magazine Film Comment (which has been published since 1962) is going on an indefinite hiatus after the May/June 2020 issue, which will be published in digital form only. (Updated March 28, 2020)

Firefly Festival

The annual music festival in Dover, Delaware, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place from June 18 to June 21, 2020. Artists who were announced for the event included Rage Against the Machine, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, Blink-182 and Maggie Rogers, Cage the Elephant, Illenium, Diplo and Run the Jewels. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Foo Fighters

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed April 2020 U.S. concerts for its Van Tour. Some of the concerts have already been rescheduled for December 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Fox Entertainment

Fox Entertainment has cancelled all development presentations at industry events until further notice. Fox Broadcasting Company’s “WWE Smackdown Live” will not have live audiences until further notice. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

Fox News

Fox News has cancelled its upfront presentation that was scheduled to take place in New York City on March 24, 2020. In addition, Fox News’ “The Greg Gutfeld Show” will not have live audiences until further notice. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Frozen Dead Guys Days in Nederland, Colorado, was scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 15, 2020, but has been cancelled. The annual event celebrates “frosty merriment featuring live bands and outrageous events—paying homage to Bredo Morstol, frozen in a Tuff Shed,” according to a statement on the event’s website.

Full Frame Documentary Festival

The annual Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina, has been cancelled. The event had been set for April 2 to April 5, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Game Developers Conference

The annual video-game industry conference in San Francisco was scheduled to take place March 16 to Mach 20, 2020, but the event has now been postponed. The new dates for the event are to be announced.

“The Ghost of Peter Sellers”

Film Movement has postponed until further notice the release of this documentary, which chronicles the ill-fated production of the Peter Sellers movie “Ghost of the Noonday Sun.” “The Ghost of Peter Sellers” had been scheduled for release in New York City on March 27, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this “Ghostbusters” sequel. “Ghosbusters: Afterlife,” starring original “Ghosbusters” headliners Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, was due out in cinemas on July 10, 2020, and has been rescheduled to open on March 5, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Gibson

The world-famous guitar manufacturer has temporarily closed its headquarters in Nashville and its facility in Bozemon, Montana, as of March 20, 2020. The operations will re-open on a date to be announced. (Updated March 20, 2020)

GLAAD Media Awards

The GLAAD Media Awards  in New York City has been cancelled. The ceremony for LGBTQ people in entertainment/media had been set for March 19, 2020. The California edition of the GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills on April 16, 2020, will probably also be cancelled or postponed. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury Festival, one of Europe’s largest annual music events, has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Glastonbury, England) was scheduled for June 24 to June 28, 2020. Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross were among the headliners. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Global Media Summit

The annual Global Media Summit (GMS) in Carrollton, Texas, has been cancelled. Described by organizers as “a Christian alliance uniting media professionals globally,” the event, which includes the GMS Music Awards, was scheduled to take place from April 22 to April 25, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Google I/O and Google Cloud Next events

Google has cancelled Google I/O. The annual event for Google developers to announce consumer products was scheduled to take place in Mountain View, California, from May 12 to May 14, 2020. Meanwhile, the Google Cloud Next event that was supposed to happen in San Francisco from April 6 to April 8, 2020, will shift from a physical event to a virtual online event, where attendees will be participate through digital resources.

Governors Ball

The annual Governors Ball music festival in New York City has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled for June 5 to June 7, 2020.  Artists on the festival bill included Stevie Nicks, Missy Elliott, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Flume, Maren Morris, Ellie Goulding, H.E.R., Banks, Of Monsters and Men, Milky Chance, Bleachers and Swae Lee. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Great Escape Festival

The annual Great Escape Festival for alternative rock has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Brighton and Hove, England) was scheduled for May 13 to May 16, 2020. Balming Tiger, House of Pharaohs and Amber Van Day were among performers. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Green Day

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed all of its concerts in Asia for the band’s Hella Mega Tour. The shows have not been rescheduled yet. The postponed concerts were scheduled to take place from March 8 to March 27, 2020, in Singapore, The Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

“The Grizzlies”

Mongrel Media had planned to release this Canadian lacrosse movie in the U.S. on March 20, 2020, but the movie’s U.S. release has been postponed until further notice. “The Grizzlies,” whose cast includes Ben Schnetzer and Booboo Stewart, was already released in Canada in 2019. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Hot Docs

The annual documentary festival in Toronto has been postponed until further notice. The event had been scheduled for April 30 to May 10, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“I Am Not Alone”

Avalanche Entertainment has postponed until further notice the release of this documentary about Armenian activist Nikol Pashinyan. The movie had originally been scheduled for release in New York City on April 10, 2020 and in Los Angeles on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

iHeartRadio Music Awards

The iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles (originally scheduled for March 29, 2020) has been postponed, and the rescheduled date is to be announced. Fox has the U.S. telecast of the annual award show. (Updated March 14, 2020)

“In the Heights”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed until further notice this musical, starring Anthony Ramos. The “In the Heights” movie, which is based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, was originally scheduled to be released on June 26, 2020. (Updated on March 24, 2020) 

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

The annual event has been postponed until further notice. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles was originally scheduled for April 1 to April 5, 2020. (Updated March 14, 2020)

Isle of Wight Festival

The annual Isle of Wight Festival for rock and pop music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Newport, England) was scheduled for June 11 to June 14, 2020. Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, the Chemical Brothers and Duran Duran were among performers. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Ivors With Apple Music Awards

The annual award show in London has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 21, 2020, the ceremony will now take place on September 2, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Elton John

The Grammy-and-Oscar-winning superstar has postponed all of his North American concerts that were scheduled to take place from March 25 to May 2, 2020. The shows are going to be rescheduled for 2021, on dates to be announced. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Jonas Brothers

Sibling pop trio the Jonas Brothers have cancelled their Las Vegas residency, which had been scheduled to run April 1 to April 18, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“Koko-Di Koko-Da”

Dark Star Pictures has postponed until further notice the U.S. release of this Swedish horror film. “Koko-Di Koko-Da” (starring Peter Belli, Leif Edlund and Ylva Gallon) had been scheduled for release in New York City on March 27, 2020, with more U.S. cities to follow in subsequent weeks. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Lady Gaga

The Grammy-and-Oscar-winning pop star has postponed until further notice the release of her album “Chromatica,” which was originally due out on April 10, 2020. In addition, Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas shows that were set for April 30 to May 11, 2020, have been postponed. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Avril Lavigne

The Grammy-winning pop star has postponed the Asian leg of her “Head Above Water” world tour. The concerts (which were to take place from April 23 to May 24, 2020) were scheduled for China, Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The rescheduled dates are to be announced.

“The Library That Dolly Built”

Abramorama has postponed and rescheduled the release of this Dolly Parton documentary, which was originally scheduled to be released in U.S. cinemas for one night only on April 2, 2020. The one-night-only release will now take place on September 21, 2020. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Live Nation

Live Nation, the world’s largest live-events promotion company, has cancelled or postponed almost all of its events that were supposed to happen from March to June 2020. (Updated March 28, 2020)

London Book Fair

The annual London Book Fair has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for March 10 to March 12, 2020.

“The Lovebirds”

Paramount Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of this comedy, starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani. The movie was supposed to have its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, which was also cancelled. “The Lovebirds” was due in U.S. theaters on April 3, 2020, but will now be released directly on Netflix. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Lovebox Festival

The annual Lovebox Festival for electronica dance music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in London) was scheduled for June 12 to June 14, 2020. Fatboy Slim, DJ Harvey and Annie Mac were among performers. (Updated March 27, 2020)

“Malignant”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed until further notice this thriller, starring Annabelle Wallis. “Malignant” was originally scheduled to be released on August 14, 2020. (Updated on March 24, 2020) 

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

The annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival in California has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for May 20 to May 24, 2020. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Method Fest Independent Film Festival

The annual festival for independent film actors has been postponed and rescheduled. It had been originally scheduled to take place in Beverly Hills, California, from March 20 to March 26, 2020. The new dates for the event are May 29 to June 4, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled all performances from March 12 to March 31, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Miami Film Festival

The annual event began on March 6, 2020, and was scheduled to end on March 15, 2020, but was abruptly cancelled on March 12, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

MIDEM

The annual music-industry conference in Cannes, Frances, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for June 2  to June 5, 2020. MIDEM officials have announced that some of the previously announced keynote speakers will still deliver their speeches, but will do so online. Previously announced keynote speakers include singer/songwriter Akon, SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor, the Raine Group partner Fred Davis, and Downtown Music Holdings CEO Justin Kalifowitz. (Updated March 30, 2020)

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Universal Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” had originally been due on in late June 2020 (in some countries) and on July 8, 2020 in the United States. The movie, includes voice actor Steve Carell, is now set to be released on July 2, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

MIPDoc

The annual documentary industry event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 28 and March 29, 2020.

MIPFormats

The annual producer/buyer event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 28 and March 29, 2020.

MIPTV

The annual TV industry event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 30 to April 3, 2020.

MobMovieCon

The annual event in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that focuses on mobster movies and related entertainment has been postponed and rescheduled. The inaugural Mob Movie Awards will still be part of the event, which has moved from April 18 and April 19, 2020 to August 22 and August 23, 2020. In addition, SopranosCon Part II will be incorporated into MobMovieCon this year. (Updated March 13, 2020.) 

Montclair Film Festival

The annual festival in Montclair, New Jersey, has been postponed. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. The event had been originally scheduled to take place from March 20 to March 26, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

“Morbius”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this vampire flick, based on the Marvel Comics character. “Morbius,” starring Jared Leto as the title character, was originally due in cinemas on July 31, 2020, and has been rescheduled to open on March 19, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Movie theaters

Movie theaters are being shut down in several countries, including China, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cineplex have closed until further notice all of their theaters in the U.S., as of March 17, 2020. Cinemark closed until further notice all of its theaters in the U.S., as of March 18, 2020, while other corporate-owned movie-theater chains around the U.S. were closed that week too. In the U.S., almost all independent movie theaters are closed until further notice. If there are any movie theaters in the U.S. that are remaining open, most have pledged to not book theater rooms at more than 50% capacity. But given the huge dropoff in moviegoing since the coronavirus outbreak was classified as a pandemic, attendance at movie theaters was reaching well below 50% anyway. (Updated March 22, 2020)

“Mulan”

Disney has postponed until further notice the release of its live-action remake of “Mulan,” starring  Liu Yifei as the title character. The movie was originally scheduled to be released on March 27, 2020. Premieres for the movie were already held in Los Angeles on March 9 and in London on March 12, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Music Biz

The Music Business Association’s annual Music Biz conference in Nashville has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled for May 11 to May 14, 2020, the event is now set for August 16 to August 19, 2020. (Updated March 20, 2020)

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas has been cancelled. The annual convention had been scheduled to take place from April 19 to April 22, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

National Symphony Orchestra

The U.S. ensemble has cancelled its tour of China and Japan. The National Symphony Orchestra concerts were scheduled for March 6 to March 17, 2020.

Netflix Is a Joke Fest

Netflix has postponed until further notice its inaugural comedy festival in Los Angeles. Netflix Is a Joke Fest had been set for April 27 to May 3, 2020. Announced stand-up comedy performers included Dave Chappelle, Ali Wong, Marlon Wayans, Amy Schumer, Pete Davidson, Taylor Tomlinson, Iliza Shlesinger, Deon Cole and Ken Jeong. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“The New Mutants”

20th Century Pictures (formerly known as 20th Century Fox) has postponed until further notice the release of the superhero flick “The New Mutants,” originally set for April 3, 2020. The movie’s ensemble cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The annual music and arts event has been cancelled. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival had been scheduled for April 23 to May 3, 2020. The performers would have included The Who, Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie and Lizzo. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

The annual award show in Los Angeles has been postponed until further notice. The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards had been set for March 22, 2020.  Chance the Rapper had been announced as the ceremony’s host. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Nightclubs

Even if there are states that allow gatherings of less than 50 people per gathering, several cities are still mandating the closure of all nightclubs and bars in the cities until further notice. In the United States, New York City and Los Angeles were among the first big cities that have ordered these closures. (Updated March 15, 2020)

“Nina Wu”

Film Movement has postponed the U.S. release of this Chinese drama, starring Ke-Xi Wu as the title character. Originally scheduled for a U.S. release on March 20, 2020, the new U.S. release date for “Nina Wu” is to be announced.  (Updated March 13, 2020.)

“No Time to Die”

The release of this James Bond 007 movie, starring Daniel Craig, has been postponed and rescheduled. MGM Pictures’ “No Time to Die” had been scheduled to be released in the U.K. and other territories on April 2, 2020, and in the U.S. and other territories on April 10, 2020. The new release date in the U.K. and other territories is November 12, 2020, and the new release date in the U.S. and other territories is November 25, 2020.

Olivier Awards

The annual award show in London for West End stage shows has been cancelled. The Olivier Awards had been scheduled for April 5, 2020. The winners will be announced in another way, most likely online. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Orange Warsaw Festival

The annual music and arts festival in Poland has been cancelled. The Orange Warsaw Festival had been scheduled for June 5 and June 6, 2020. (Updated March 24, 2020)

PaleyFest

PaleyFest in Los Angeles has been postponed until further notice. The event, which showcases TV programs and TV stars, had been scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 21, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Pearl Jam

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed the North American leg of its “Gigaton” tour. The tour dates consisted of U.S. and Canadian concerts that were scheduled to begin on March 18 in Toronto and run through April 19 in Oakland, California. There’s no word yet on when these Pearl Jam shows will be rescheduled. In addition, Pearl Jam has cancelled the “Gigaton Listening Experience,” which was supposed to take place March 25, 2020, as a one-night-only listening event at numerous Dolby movie theaters worldwide for the band’s “Gigaton” album. (Updated March 17, 2020)

PEN America Literary Gala

The annual PEN America Literary Gala has been postponed and rescheduled. The event was originally set for May 19, 2020, and will not take place on September 15, 2020. (Updated March 20, 2020)

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the U.S. release of the drama “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” originally set for May 8, 2020. The movie, which was already released in the United Kingdom in January 2020, stars Dev Patel. (Updated March 30, 2020)

“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed the release of this live-action/animated sequel. “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” was originally due in cinemas on April 3, 2020, was postponed to August 7, 2020, and will now be released on January 15, 2021. The cast of “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” includes Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo as live actors and Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki as voice actors. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Primavera Sound Festival

The annual music festival in Barcelona has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for June 4 to June 7, 2020, the festival will now take place August 26 to August 30, 2020. The artists announced for the event include Massive Attack, Disclosure, Kacey Musgraves, the Strokes, Lana Del Rey, Beck, Bikini Kill, Iggy Pop, Bauhaus, Bad Bunny, Jesus and Mary Chain and Tyler, the Creator.

Premios Platino

The annual film and TV awards event has been cancelled. Premios Platino had been scheduled to take place in Riviera Maya, Mexico, from May 1 to May 3, 2020.

“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this horror sequel, starring Emily Blunt, which was originally scheduled to be released from March 18 to March 20, 2020, depending on the territory. (The U.S. release was supposed to on March 20.) The movie’s new release date is now September 4, 2020. “A Quiet Place Part II” already had its world premiere in New York City on March 8, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

“Radium Girls”

Juno Films has postponed until further notice the release of the drama “Radium Girls,” which is about a group of young female labor activists in the 1920s. The movie, which stars Joey King and Abby Quinn, was originally scheduled for release on April 3, 2020. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Rage Against the Machine

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed until further notice the first two months of its Public Service Announcement reunion tour that was set begin March 26, 2020 in El Paso, Texas, and continue to May 23, 2020, in Boston. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Record Store Day

Record Store Day, which takes place at various retail music stores around the world, has been postponed and rescheduled from April 4 to June 20, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Red Sea Film Festival

The inaugural event (which was scheduled to take place March 12 to March 21, 2020 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) has now been postponed. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. Oscar-winning filmmakers Oliver Stone and Spike Lee had been announced to attend the event. Stone was selected as a jury member, while Lee was supposed to present a special screening of his 1992 film “Malcolm X.”

Restaurants

Even if there are cities that allow gatherings of less than 50 people per gathering, several cities are still mandating the closure of all restaurants in the cities until further notice, unless the restaurants can do take-outs and deliveries. (Updated March 15, 2020)

“Rewind”

FilmRise has postponed until further notice the theatrical release of director Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s autobiographical documentary about abuse that he experienced as a child. “Rewind” had been set to be released in New York City on March 27, 2020, and in Los Angeles on April 3, 2020. The movie will still be shown on the PBS series “Independent Lens” on May 11, 2020. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert

The Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert (which was planned for May 17, 2020) has been postponed until further notice. The annual event benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is comprised of a motorcycle ride originating at Harley-Davidson of Glendale, California, followed by an afternoon of live music at Los Encinos Park in Encino, California. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was supposed to take place on May 2 in Cleveland, has been postponed and rescheduled  for November 7. The performers who will be inducted are Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex. HBO will have the live telecast of the show. In addition, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. (Updated March 28, 2020)

Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have postponed until further notice the 2020 North American leg of their “No Filter” tour. The 15 concerts were scheduled to begin May 8 in San Diego and end July 9 in Atlanta. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The annual event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo had been scheduled for August 7 to August 29, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

“Run”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the horror film “Run,” originally set for May 8, 2020. The movie stars Sarah Paulson. (Updated March 17, 2020)

RuPaul’s DragCon LA

This annual Los Angeles event celebrating the culture of drag queens has been cancelled. RuPaul’s DragCon LA had been scheduled to take place May 1 to May 3, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

San Francisco Silent Film Festival

The annual event has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set to take place from April 29 to May 3, 2020, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival will now take place from November 11 to November 15, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“Scoob!”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed until further notice this animated film, based on the “Scooby-Doo” TV series. “Scoob!” was originally scheduled to be released on May 15, 2020. The movie’s voice cast includes Frank Welker, Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez, Amanda Seyfried and Zac Efron. (Updated on March 24, 2020) 

“The Secret: Dare to Dream”

Roadside Attractions has postponed until further notice the release of this dramatic film, starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas. “The Secret: Dare to Dream” was due in U.S. theaters on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Series Mania

The annual TV festival in Lille, France, has been cancelled. Series Mania was supposed to take place from March 20 to March 28, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

“Sing 2”

Universal Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel. “Sing 2,” which includes voice actors Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey, was originally set to open July 2, 2021, and will now be released on December 22, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Slay the Dragon”

This critically acclaimed documentary about gerrymandering in U.S. politics had been scheduled for a limited U.S. theatrical release on March 13, 2020. Magnolia Pictures will now release “Slay the Dragon” in theaters, on VOD and on other digital platforms on April 3, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

“Sometimes Always Never”

Blue Fox Entertainment has postponed until further notice the U.S. release of this British thriller, starring Bill Nighy and Sam Riley. “Sometimes Always Never” had been rescheduled for a U.S. theatrical release on April 15, 2020, after being postponed from March 6, 2020. The movie was already released in 2019 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Songwriters Hall of Fame

The annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony in New York City has been postponed and rescheduled for 2021, and the show will award the previously announced honorees. Originally set for June 11, 2020, the ceremony will now take place on June 10, 2021. The previously announced honorees are Mariah Carey; Eurythmics co-founders Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart; the Isley Brothers members Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley,  Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper; Steve Miller; the Neptunes founders Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo; Rick Nowels; and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Paul Williams will receive the Johnny Mercer Award. Universal Music Publishing chairman/CEO Jody Gerson will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award. (Updated March 31, 2020)

Sonic Temple Arts + Music Festival

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Sonic Temple Arts + Music Festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Columbus, Ohio, from May 15 to May 17, 2020. The lineup of performers included Metallica, Slipknot, Deftones, Bring Me the Horizon, Evanescence, and Staind. Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival will instead perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. Louder Than Life pass holders will not be charged extra for the fourth day. Ticket/pass holders for the cancelled festival have three options: get a refund, use their purchase for the same festival in 2021, or exchange the purchase for another Danny Wimmer Presents event in 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals

The 2020 edition of SXSW has been cancelled for the first time in the event’s 34-year history. The event was scheduled to take place from March 13 to 22 in Austin, Texas. A public health state of emergency has also been declared in the city of Austin. SXSW includes festivals for music, film and live comedy, as well as conferences for technology, education and gaming. Days before the cancellation, several companies pulled of out participating in the event this year, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Lionsgate, Starz, TikTok, Twitter, Vevo and WarnerMedia. The SXSW Film Festival announced that it will still give awards this year in the jury-voted categories. The films in competition are being made available online to jurors. Winners will be announced online and not at an awards ceremony. Click here for the full story of the SXSW event cancellation. On April 2, it was announced that the 2020 SXSW Film Festival has partnered with Amazon Prime Video to make select films from the cancelled festival available for free on Amazon Prime Video for a limited time. Click here for more details. (Updated April 2, 2020)

“Spiral”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the horror movie “Spiral,” originally set for May 15, 2020. The movie, which is a reboot of the “Saw” franchise, stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel, starring voice actor Tom Kenney, which was originally scheduled to be released May 22, 2020. The movie’s new release date is now July 31, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

Stagecoach Music  Festival

The annual country music festival has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled for April 24 to April 26, 2020, Stagecoach will now take place October 23 to October 25, 2020. The festival site in Indio, California, will remain the same. It’s unknown at this point how much the lineups will remain the same. Artists who had been announced to perform, before the postponement happened, include headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, as well as Brett Young, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Dan + Shay, Alan Jackson, Jon Pardi and Bryan Adams. (Updated March 10, 2020)

Harry Styles

The former One Direction star has postponed and rescheduled the U.K. and continental European dates of his Love on Tour. The shows were originally scheduled to begin April 15, 2020 in Birmingham, England, and end June 3, 2020, in Moscow. The concerts will now take place in 2021, beginning February 12 in Bologna, Italy, and end March 30 in Moscow. (Updated March 25, 2020)

Summerfest

The annual music festival in Milwaukee has been postponed and rescheduled. The event was originally set for June 24 to July 5 to the weekends of September 3 to September 5, September 10 to September 12, and September 17 to September 19, 2020. Performers include Justin Bieber, Guns N’Roses, Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, Khalid, Halsey, Sam Hunt and Jessie Reyez. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Sun Valley Film Festival

The annual festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place from March 18 to March 22, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Sydney Film Festival

The annual film festival in Australia had been scheduled for June 3 to June 14, 2020, but the event has been cancelled. The Sydney Film Festival plans to return in 2021. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Tomorrowland 

The annual electronic-music festival Tomorrowland in Alpe d’Huez, France, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for March 14 to March 21, 2020.

“Tomorrow War”

Paramount Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of this sci-fi/fantasy film, starring Chris Pratt, which was originally scheduled to be released December 25, 2020.  (Updated April 2, 2020)

Tony Awards

The Tony Awards, an annual ceremony in New York City for Broadway shows, has been postponed until further notice. The ceremony (which is telecast in the U.S. by CBS) had originally been scheduled for June 7. The nominees and host have not been announced yet. (Updated March 25, 2020)

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this action sequel, starring Tom Cruise, which was originally scheduled to be released June 24, 2020. The movie’s new release date is now December 23, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

Toronto Comic Arts Festival

The annual comic-book convention has been cancelled. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival had been scheduled for May 8 to May 10, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Treefort Music Fest

The annual festival in Boise, Idaho, for emerging talent has been postponed. Treefort Music Fest had originally been scheduled to take place from March 25 to 29, 2020, and will now take place from September 23 to September 27, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City has been postponed. The annual event had been scheduled for April 15 to April 26, 2020. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. (Updated March 12, 2020)

“The Truth”

IFC Films has postponed the U.S. release of this French drama, starring Catherine Denueve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke. Originally scheduled for a U.S. release on March 20, 2020, the new U.S. release date for “The Truth” is to be announced. The movie was already released in France and in Japan in 2019. (Updated March 13, 2020.)

TV Network Upfront Presentations

TV networks’ annual upfront presentations for advertisers take place in New York City, mostly in April and May. In 2020, all of these events have now been cancelled or switched to being online presentations only. (Updated March 15, 2020)

TV Shows With Live Audiences

Almost all nationally televised series that are known to have live audiences have announced that they will continue without live audiences or they are temporarily shutting down production. These include talk shows, game shows, talent shows and variety shows. Some of these shows have already taped episodes with audiences, before bans on large gatherings went into effect. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Ultra Music Festival

The annual electronica-dance music event in Miami has been cancelled and will return in 2021. Ultra Music Festival had been scheduled to take place March 20 to March 22, 2020. Performers at the 2020 Ultra Music Festival would have included David Guetta, DJ Snake, Major Lazer, Above & Beyond, Afrojack and Martin Garrix.

“Uncharted”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this video-game-based movie. “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland and Bryan Cranston, was due out in cinemas on March 5, 2021, and has been rescheduled to open on October 8, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood will be closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. Universal Studios in Florida will be closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

 VidCon

VidCon, the annual networking event for video-based media influencers, has postponed all of its conferences. The flagship VidCon in Anaheim, California, was supposed to take place from June 17 to June 20, 2020, but the event will be rescheduled on dates to be announced. The inaugural VidCon Mexico in Mexico City was scheduled for April 30 to May 3, 2020, and has been rescheduled for September 17 to September 20, 2020. The inaugural VidCon Abu Dhabi was scheduled for March 25 to March 28, 2020, and has been rescheduled for December 16 to December 19, 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Wango Tango

The annual star-studded music concert, hosted by Los Angeles pop radio station KIIS-FM, has been cancelled. The show was set for June 5, 2020, in Carson, California. The 2020 Wango Tango lineup included headliner Harry Styles. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Webby Awards

The annual award show in New York City honoring World Wide Web content and creators has been postponed until further notice and will be changed from an in-person event to an online event. The original date for this year’s Webby Awards was May 11, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Welcome to Rockville

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Welcome to Rockville festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Daytona Beach, Florida, from May 8 to May 10, 2020. The lineup of performers included Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Godsmack, Deftones,Social Distortion, The Offspring, Staind, Lamb of God, Rancid.  Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival will instead perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. Louder Than Life pass holders will not be charged extra for the fourth day. Ticket/pass holders for the cancelled festival have three options: get a refund, use their purchase for the same festival in 2021, or exchange the purchase for another Danny Wimmer Presents event in 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

WhedonCon

The annual convention in Los Angeles celebrating the work of writer/director Joss Whedon (who’s best known for the first two “Avengers” movies and the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series) has been postponed and rescheduled. WhedonCon was originally scheduled for June 5 to June 7, 2020, but is now taking place October 30 to November 1, 2020 (Updated March 22, 2020)

“Wicked”

Universal Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of this movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical. “Wicked,” starring Katie Rose Clark and Jessica Vosk, had originally been set for release on December 22, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Winter Music Conference

The annual convention in Miami for electronica-dance music was scheduled to take place March 16 to March 19, 2020, but has been postponed and will be rescheduled on dates to be announced.

“The Wolf House”

Independent movie distributor KimStim has postponed the U.S. release of this Chilean animated film, which tells the story of Colonia Dignidad, a German émigré-run colony in post-WWII Chile that was revealed to have been used to imprison, torture and murder dissidents during the Pinochet regime. Originally scheduled for release in New York City on March 20, 2020, and in Los Angeles on March 27, 2020, the new U.S. release date for “The Wolf House” is to be announced.  (Updated March 13, 2020.)

“The Woman in the Window”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the thriller “The Woman in the Window,” originally set for April, 2020. The movie stars Amy Adams. (Updated March 17, 2020)

WonderCon

The annual comic-book/sci-fi/fantasy entertainment fan convention in Anaheim, California, has been postponed. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. WonderCon had been set for April 10 to April 12, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

“Wonder Woman 1984”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this superhero sequel, starring Gal Gadot. “Wonder Woman 1984” was originally set for June 5, 2020, but will now be released on August 14, 2020. (Updated March 24, 2020)

YouTube

The London edition of YouTube on Stage, an event to showcase YouTube talent, was cancelled just hours before the event was supposed to happen on March 11, 2020. In addition, YouTube has switched its annual Brandcast marketing presentation (set for April 30, 2020) to be an online event instead of an in-person event. (Updated March 16, 2020)

2020 SXSW Film Festival migrates to Amazon Prime Video for limited time

April 21, 2020

The following is a press release from South by Southwest Conference and Festivals:

Amazon Prime Video and SXSW are joining forces to launch “Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection,” following the unprecedented cancellation of the SXSW Conference and Festivals by the City of Austin due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

“Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection” offers filmmakers in the 2020 SXSW Film Festival lineup an invitation to opt in to take part in this online film festival, which will play exclusively on Prime Video in the U.S. for 10-days. The one-time event will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall and free to all audiences around the country, with or without an Amazon Prime membership, all that is needed is a free Amazon account.

Filmmakers who choose to participate will receive a screening fee for streaming their film over the 10-day period. The launch date is yet to be announced, but SXSW and Prime Video are targeting a late April date. SXSW has shared details on the opportunity with 2020 filmmakers, who can opt in starting today.

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said, “We’re honored to be able to provide a space for the SXSW filmmakers to share their hard work and passion with audiences for the first time. It’s been a privilege collaborating with Janet Pierson and the SXSW team to bring these diverse and inspiring films to viewers around the country. We are supporters of SXSW and other independent film festivals, and hope this online film festival can help give back some of that experience, and showcase artists and films that audiences might otherwise not have had the chance to see.”

“Ever since SXSW was canceled by the City of Austin, we’ve been focused on how we could help the incredible films and filmmakers in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival lineup,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film at SXSW. “We were delighted when Amazon Prime Video offered to host an online film festival, and jumped at the opportunity to connect their audiences to our filmmakers. We’re inspired by the adaptability and resilience of the film community as it searches for creative solutions in this unprecedented crisis.”

“I’m thrilled that these two great champions of indie film (SXSW and Amazon Prime Video) are teaming up to resurrect this year’s canceled film festival,” said Jay Duplass, independent filmmaker and SXSW alum. “These are unprecedented times, and it’s going to take unprecedented solutions to carry on and celebrate these great films and the people who worked so hard to make them.”

Stay tuned to SXSW for more information coming soon. Follow us on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook for the latest SX news.

Review: ‘Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons,’ starring Cindy Casey-Holman, Steven Feldman, Edward Hu, Ginger Savely, Kelly Pickens, Marianne Middelveen and Raphael Stricker

March 31, 2020

by Carla Hay

Cindy Casey-Holman in “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

“Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons”

Directed by Pi Ware

Culture Representation: Taking place in various parts of the United States, this documentary (which interviews mostly white people and a few Asians) examines the controversies over the medical validity of a debilitating skin condition that’s known as Morgellons, featuring commentaries from patients and medical professionals.

Culture Clash: People in the documentary disagree over whether not Morgellons should be officially recognized as a disease by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Culture Audience: “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” will appeal mostly to people who want to learn more about what’s being done about Morgellons and will also appeal to people who like watching documentaries about rare medical conditions.

Cindy Casey-Holman (second from right) in “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

The documentary “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” takes an up-close and personal look at what is currently a controversial medical mystery: Morgellons. Is it an undiagnosed skin disease or is it a figment of mentally ill people’s imaginations? The medical community is divided over what is the real answer. This documentary (directed by Pi Ware) responsibly presents both sides of the argument, but the film unquestionably sides with the patients who say that they have Morgellons.

People who say they have Morgellons have similar physical characteristics: They have painful skin lesions and open sores that often have hair or different-colored fibers growing out of these sores. The people with this condition also say that they feel like bugs or small animals are trying to crawl out of their skin. In addition, they also report having memory loss or other signs of neurological degeneration. (These are also characteristics of heavy methamphetamine use, but many of the people who have Morgellons are not meth users.) Because Morgellons seems to be a very rare condition that is not officially recognized by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), many medical professionals are reluctant to diagnose patients with Morgellons.

Complicating matters is that fact that people with this skin condition often use extreme measures to try and get rid of it, which might or not not be indications of mental instability. In a medical consultation on camera with nurse practitioner Ginger Savely (who’s a Morgellons patient advocate), one Morgellons-stricken man in the documentary tells her that he’s been using a homemade, medically unapproved “remedy” of a topical paste that includes DDT (the main ingredient of insecticide) to treat his skin condition. The patient swears that this home remedy has been working for him. Savely, who is only consulting with him and is not his main medical professional, literally cringes and says that the DDT ingredient is “toxic.”

This inclination to treat the problem with self-remedies is why many medical professionals think that people who say they have Morgellons are really just mentally ill and should not be coming up with their own medical solutions to a problem that isn’t fully understood yet. People who have Morgellons are often accused of causing their skin sores through self-mutilation.

The documentary points out that there are some people who think they have Morgellons, but they actually don’t, and it’s those misinformed people who are giving the “legitimate” Morgellons patients a bad name. But herein lies the problem: Even if doctors believe that Morgellons is a medical condition, they often don’t agree on what would make a “legitimate” Morgellons patient.

Cindy Casey-Holman, a former registered nurse, is one of the leading activists to get medical professionals and health-related government agencies to take Morgellons seriously. In the documentary, she said she first noticed that she had the characteristics of Morgellons in the mid-1990s. In addition to the skin sores, she had a low-grade fever, swollen feet and a lot of anxiety. Betsy Anderson, one of her friends and a former co-worker, is interviewed and confirms this information.

Since no doctor could diagnose what was wrong with her at the time, Casey-Holman said that she did the best she could to try to get better, and the symptoms eventually went away. However, the symptoms returned about seven or eight years later at one of the worst times imaginable: close to her wedding date. She’s had the condition in varying forms ever since, although she says at the end of the film that it’s nowhere near as bad as it was for her back in the 2000s.

Casey-Holman’s husband Charles Holman (who has since passed away) and an advocate named Dr. Greg Smith teamed up to co-found a nonprofit activist organization called the New Morgellons Order. That organization has since morphed into the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation, of which Casey-Holman is the director. She says in the documentary that she is based in Hughes Springs, Texas, after living in San Francisco for many years.

She is also the chief organizer of an annual Morgellons Conference, which gets a lot of screen time in the documentary. The movie doesn’t specify what year that the featured conference took place, but it’s mentioned that the conference was at a hotel in Austin, Texas. It’s a small event. Casey-Holman says in the film that the conference has less than 100 people attending per year. And in a room for panel discussions and speaker presentations, it looks like there are about 50 people or less in the room at any given time.

Casey-Holman says that people who believe they have Morgellons began to find each other through the Internet, beginning in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It was around this time that the media began reporting that people had this skin condition. People who say that they have Morgellons were once relegated to just Internet chat rooms to share their stories with others, but then they were starting to be interviewed on national television in news reports about Morgellons. And that’s when this skin condition started to get even more media attention.

The medical skeptics about Morgellons say that the publicity over Morgellons is one of the reasons why they think Morgellons is a medical hoax. Dr. Timothy Berger, a University of California at San Francisco dermatologist who used to be Casey-Holman’s doctor, comments on Morgellons: “I believe this was an Internet-associated situation. I hadn’t seen patients with the fiber complaint until the fiber story got universally spread.” Berger then compares people who say they have Morgellons to Vietnam War veterans who blamed their sicknesses on Agent Orange.

Another medical skeptic about Morgellons is Dr. Steven R. Feldman, a dermatologist based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He gets the most screen time in the documentary’s presentation of anti-Morgellons viewpoints, and he’s the closest thing to a “villain” in this movie. For starters, Feldman comes across as arrogant and condescending. He freely admits that in dealing with patients, what he says isn’t based on the individual but is often pre-rehearsed, canned talk. He also admits that he can appear to have a cheerful demeanor with patients, but it’s actually forced. “It’s for show,” he says.

When commenting on Morgellons, Feldman says, “Doctors can’t find anything objective causing these sensations … Morgellons and delusions of parasitosis, to many physicians, are exactly the same thing.” And to further drive home the point that Feldman is the “jerk” of this story, during his lecture presentation at the Morgellons Conference featured in the documentary, he tells the attendees that they’ll get better results in doctors’ cooperation if they are polite and nice to their doctors.

But what really sets off some of the attendees to respond angrily is when Feldman makes this outrageous statement more than once during his lecture: “I don’t believe that there are any bad doctors.” (Tell that to state medical licensing boards that have revoked numerous medical licenses for doctors due to malpractice or other reasons. There are also many doctors who have been convicted of medical-related crimes.)

Feldman’s statement that there are “no bad doctors” causes one particular conference attendee, Morgellons activist Kelly Pickens, to shout a rant at Feldman before storming out of the room. She later confronts Feldman again in a hallway after the lecture. Pickens has a tragic story that is told in this documentary, but that information won’t be revealed in this review.

Another Morgellons patient who’s featured in the documentary is Edward Hu, a former attorney in San Francisco whose medical condition became so severe that he had to leave his job as a federal public defender. His medical problems led to a falling-out between him and his younger brother Brian, a doctor who’s been skeptical that Morgellons is a real medical condition. The documentary shows Edward Hu in various states of his condition (some better than others) over time, as well as the two brothers’ attempts to reconcile.

Are there any doctors who believe Morgellons is real? Yes. The documentary interviews some of them. One is Raphael Stricker, an internist who considers himself to be a Morgellons specialist. He says that people who believe that they have Morgellons should try to avoid bringing in their own skin samples (often called “matchbox signs”) for doctors to test, unless those samples are specifically requested. As Stricker says in the movie: “Doctors make fun of the matchbox sign, because they see it as proof that they [the patients] are crazy.”

Another advocate for Morgellon patients is veterinary microbiologist Marianne Middelveen, who teamed up with Stricker to test a hypothesis that Morgellons could be caused by bacteria. The study’s results, which are shown in the documentary, suggested a strong correlation between bacteria and this skin condition.

The documentary also covers the long-held belief that Lyme disease could linked to Morgellons, since the symptoms for Lyme disease are similar. Another theory is that Morgellons is caused by a source within the body (such as a genetic defect) and not from a source that was introduced to the body, such as external bacteria. None of these theories has been medically proven.

In the documentary, Harry Quinn Schone, a medical historian and author of “Contested Illness in Context” mentions that for decades, medical professionals thought ulcers were caused by stress until it was proven that ulcers were caused by bacteria. But it took a lot of controversy, skepticism and scientific research before that conclusion was reached by the medical community. Schone suggests that Morgellons is in a similar misunderstood gray zone that ulcers used to be in, when it was believed that the cause for ulcers was more emotional/psychological than physical.

Another medical expert who is an advocate for Morgellons patients is Randy Wymore, an associate professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University. He believes that the CDC conducted a very flawed study that concluded in 2012 that Morgellons had no underlying medical condition or no infectious source. Wymore says that the sample size for the study was too small; he claims as little as 12 people actually participated in the study.

And according to Wymore, the long questionnaire that the CDC gave to people who were potential study participants showed a lot of bias in favor of the theory that Morgellons patients had psychiatric problems. The documentary does not mention if the filmmakers made any effort to contact the CDC for comment. The good news, says Wymore, is that because of continued testing, he’s seen that doctors are becoming less skeptical of Morgellons and are becoming more curious about how to treat this condition.

“Skin Deep” is undoubtedly sympathetic toward the patients, but there’s very little investigation into how authentic their stories are. As viewers, we’re supposed to take their word for it that the sores on their skin just mysteriously appeared with no explanation. While it might be true for some, it might not be true for others. The documentary doesn’t really try to prove the credibility of anyone identified in the film as a “Morgellons patient,” except for Casey-Holman, who has the aforementioned friend backing up her story.

“Skin Deep” director Ware also injects some melodrama by including re-enactments using actors. These re-enactments are borderline manipulative/cheesy and don’t seem very appropriate for a documentary about a topic as serious as people’s medical problems. Despite these flaws, “Skin Deep” does make it clear that even though people can disagree on what causes Morgellons, there are physical manifestations clearly showing that something is definitely wrong with these patients. The issue is what is really causing these skin sores and other problems associated with Morgellons.

As shown in the movie, because Morgellons is such a mysterious condition, patients are often not believed not just by medical professionals but also by family, friends and other loved ones. Several of the Morgellons patients in the movie say that Morgellons has ruined their health and ruined the relationships they’ve had with many loved ones. The suicide rate for Morgellons patients is extremely high, says Savely.

Nurse practitioners Savely and Melissa McElroy Felser, who are advocates for Morgellons patients, stress the importance of having compassion for those who are suffering. Whether or not Morgellons is a real disease, the suffering is real. And, as “Skin Deep” concludes, that suffering in and of itself is cause for alarm and for the medical community and other concerned people to do their part to address this problem.

Gravitas Ventures released “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” on digital, VOD and DVD on March 31, 2020.

True Crime Entertainment: What’s New This Week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

Monday, March 30 – Sunday, April 5

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

Netflix’s four-part docuseries “How to Fix a Drug Scandal” premieres on Wednesday, April 1 at 3 a.m. Eastern Time/12 a.m. Pacific Time.

Monday, March 30

“Betrayed”
“Little Shop of Horrors” (Episode 402) 
Monday, March 30, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Fatal Attraction”
“False Redemption” (Trina Winston)
Monday, March 30, 9 p.m., TV One

“Torn From the Headlines: New York Post Reports”
“Baby Hope” (Episode 103)
Monday, March 30, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Independent Lens”
“One Child Nation”
Monday, March 30, 10 p.m., PBS

Tuesday, March 31

“The Scheme” (documentary film)
Tuesday, March 31, 9 p.m., HBO

“Diabolical”
“Lie for Me” (Episode 304)
Tuesday, March 31, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Reasonable Doubt”
“The Meanest Drunk in the South” (Episode 305)
Tuesday, March 31, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Wednesday, April 1

“How to Fix a Drug Scandal” (four-part docuseries)
Wednesday, April 1, 3 a.m./12 a.m., Netflix

“See No Evil”
“The Good Samaritan” (Episode 601) **Season Premiere**
Wednesday, April 1, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“In Pursuit With John Walsh”
“Witness to Murder”(Episode 212) **Season Finale**
Wednesday, April 1, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, April 2

“The First 48”
“A Killer’s Trail” (Episode 1916)
Thursday, April 2, 8 p.m., A&E

“Snapped: Killer Couples”
“Kemia Hassel and Jeremy Cuellar” (Episode 1308)
Thursday, April 2, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“If I Should Die”
“A Killer’s Trail” (Episode 101) **Series Premiere**
Thursday, April 2, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“In Ice Cold Blood”
“High Stakes Homicide” (Episode 308) **Season Finale**
Thursday, April 2, 9 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD: Wanted”
(Episode 206)
Thursday, April 2, 9 p.m., A&E

“60 Days In”
“Champagne on Ice” (Episode 614)
Thursday, April 2, 10 p.m., A&E

“My Murder Story”
“Soaked in Murder” (Episode 105) 
Thursday, April 2, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Friday, April 3

“Dateline NBC: Secrets Uncovered”
(Episode 825)
Friday, April 3, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Fatal Vows”
“To Kiss or to Kill” (Episode 711)
Friday, April 3, 8 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Live PD: Roll Call”
Friday, April 3, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Rewind”
Friday, April 3, 8:06 p.m., A&E

“Live PD”
Friday, April 3, 9 p.m., A&E

“20/20”
Friday, April 3, 9 p.m., ABC

“Dateline”
Friday, April 3, 9 p.m., NBC

Saturday, April 4

“Cold Justice”
“Double Life Discovered” (Episode 522)
Saturday, April 4, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“The DNA of Murder With Paul Holes”
“High School Homicide” (Episode 109)
Saturday, April 4, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD: Roll Call”
Saturday, April 4, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Rewind”
Saturday, April 4, 8:06 p.m., A&E

“Live PD”
Saturday, April 4, 9 p.m., A&E

“48 Hours”
Saturday, April 4, 10 p.m., CBS

Sunday, April 5

“Snapped”
“Judith Singer” (Episode 2705)
Sunday, April 5, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project” (TV Special)
Sunday, April 5, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children”
Episode 1
Sunday, April 5, 8 p.m., HBO

“The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery”
Episode 1
Sunday, April 5, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery”
Episode 2
Sunday, April 5, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Forensic Files II”
(Episode 113)
Sunday, April 5, 10 p.m., HLN

“Forensic Files II”
(Episode 114)
Sunday, April 5, 10:30 p.m., HLN

“The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery”
Episode 3
Sunday, April 5, 11 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Movies in Theaters

No new true-crime movies in theaters this week.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, movie theaters in the U.S. are closed until further notice.

Radio/Podcasts

No new podcast series debuts this week.

Events

Events listed here are not considered endorsements by this website. All ticket buyers with questions or concerns about the event should contact the event promoter or ticket seller directly.

All start times listed are local time.

No new true-crime events this week.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most events in the U.S. have been cancelled or postponed if the event was expecting at least 50 people and was set to take place in April or May 2020.

Review: ‘Banana Split,’ starring Hannah Marks, Liana Liberto and Dylan Sprouse

March 27, 2020

by Carla Hay

Liana Liberato and Hannah Marks in “Banana Split” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

“Banana Split”

Directed by Benjamin Kasulke

Culture Representation: Taking place in Los Angeles, the comedy “Banana Split” has a predominantly young white cast of characters (with some African American and Asian representation) portraying middle-class teenagers.

Culture Clash: Two women in their late teens befriend each other, even though one of them is dating the other’s ex-boyfriend, and they agree to keep their friendship a secret from the boyfriend.

Culture Audience: “Banana Split” will appeal primarily to people who like female-oriented comedies that are entertaining and have adult humor.

Hannah Marks, Addison Riecke, Liana Liberato and Jessica Hect in “Banana Split” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

Can you become best friends with the person who’s currently dating an ex-lover just a few months after the relationship ended? That’s the question posed in the breezy and somewhat raunchy comedy “Banana Split,” which has two women in their late teens going through this exact situation while hiding their friendship from the boyfriend. And making matters even more uncomfortable, the two women are also friends with the boyfriend’s best friend. If you’ve seen enough comedies like this one, then it’s easy to predict what’s going to happen, but the characters and the movie overall are so watchable and engaging that it’s an entertaining ride for most of the story.

The movie is told from the perspective of Los Angeles teenager April Krillholtz (played by Hannah Marks, who co-wrote the “Banana Split” screenplay with Joey Power), a brainy, neurotic type who’s a huge fan of “Harry Potter” and completely in love with Nicholas “Nick” Ellis (played by Dylan Sprouse), her high-school sweetheart of two years. A quick montage at the beginning of the film shows how April and Nick’s romance started and then began to deteriorate.

After having a platonic friendship, Nick and April decided that they wanted to start dating each other. But over time, their hot’n’heavy romance began to turn volatile, with a lot of arguing. (They even bickered during their prom date.)

And their relationship took a turn for the worst when they both got the news that they were accepted into universities on opposite coasts: Nick is staying on the West Coast to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara, while April is headed to the East Coast for Boston University, on an academic scholarship. Apparently, April didn’t tell Nick that she had applied to a college in Boston, so when he finds out that she’s moving there, that’s the final nail in the coffin of their relationship, and they break up.

After graduating from high school, April is spending her summer working as a concessions employee at a movie theater. She’s the type of person who scolds a customer for ordering a hot dog because she thinks the customer is better off not letting “the smell of pig parts permeate the theater.” (In case it isn’t obvious, April doesn’t believe in eating meat.)

Before she moves away to go to Boston University, April is living at home with her divorced mother Susan (played by Jessica Hecht) and April’s foul-mouthed 13-year-old sister Agnes (played by Addison Riecke). Agnes has no sympathy for April’s breakup blues because Agnes makes it clear that she’s had a longtime crush on Nick and wants him for herself one day. Agnes also isn’t shy about describing her lust for Nick in explicit ways.

Agnes is the type of precocious teen who likes to talk about how much she knows about sex to shock or anger people (namely, her sister). The two siblings frequently get into immature, curse-filled shouting matches that’s kind of hilarious to watch. Their permissive mother Susan just wants to keep the peace while telling a little too much information about her own sex life. The dynamics between these three characters (who are usually only seen together around a dining room table) make for some of the best scenes in the movie. As the obnoxious and petulant Agnes, Riecke is a definite scene-stealer.

One night, April goes with two of her friends—Sally (played by Haley Ramm) and Molly (played by Meagan Kimberly Smith)—to a house party thrown by a fellow classmate. At the party, April gets very drunk because she knows, through social media, that Nick has already moved on to dating someone named Clara (played by Liana Liberato), a young woman who’s around the same age but who didn’t go to the same high school as April and Nick. In fact, April knows very little about Clara, and it bothers April that Nick was able to find a new girlfriend so quickly after their breakup.

But wouldn’t you know it, Clara is at the party too. Clara is not with Nick, but she looks like she’s having fun at the party and she’s being very social. April eyes Clara from a distance with jealousy and suspicion. And then, April is shocked to find out that Nick’s nerdy best friend Ben (played Luke Spencer Roberts) already knows Clara, because her parents are his godparents. (Stranger coincidences have happened in real life.) Ben has remained friendly with April after the breakup, and she understands that he’s still going to be Nick’s best friend. What she doesn’t like is for Ben to be friendly with Clara.

While an intoxicated April is hanging out by herself in a bedroom at the house, in walks Clara. The two have an awkward moment before Clara admits that she deliberately followed April into the room because she thought it was best that they finally meet. And it isn’t long before Clara and April begin hanging out at the party like long-lost friends.

They have such a good time together, that at the end of the night, Clara insists that April take her phone number. April asks, “What about Nick?” And Clara replies that Nick doesn’t have to know.

Meanwhile, when April tells Nick’s best friend Ben that Clara gave April her phone number, Ben (who senses that he’s going to be caught in the middle of this unusual arrangement) advises April not to become friends with Clara because it would be too weird and inappropriate. But, of course, there would be no “Banana Split” movie if April took that advice.

The first time that April and Clara hang out with each other, they go to a diner and have (you guessed it) a banana split together. The dessert can also be considered a metaphor for what their friendship turns out to be over the summer—sweet, kind of decadent and with a high probability of getting very messy.

The two women are almost opposites. College-bound April likes to plan ahead and has limited sexual experience. (She lost her virginity to Nick, who’s the only guy she’s had sex with so far.) Clara who recently moved to Los Angeles from Fresno with no set plans, is more of a free-spirit, is more sexually experienced (Clara tells April that she’s had sex with 14 guys in her life so far) and is not as book-smart as April is.

The movie hints that their relationship could have turned sexual, when during one of their first hangouts together, Clara asks April if she wants to make out with her.  But April tells Clara that she’s not interested because she’s definitely heterosexual, and the subject is never brought up again.

“Banana Split” has a lot of montages of April and Clara doing things like going to the beach together, getting high together (mostly by smoking marijuana), and going out for meals together—not exactly the best way to keep their friendship a secret. Los Angeles is a big city, but there’s still a chance that other mutual friends of Nick and April (other than Ben) would find out.

During one of the first times that Clara and April spend time together, they end up talking about Nick’s sexual techniques, but that conversation quickly turns awkward when Clara finds out that Nick said things to April that he never said to her. April and Clara decide that the other big rule in their friendship (besides not telling Nick about their friendship) will be not to talk about Nick with each other.

To hide their friendship, they also agree not to post photos of themselves together on social media. And when April calls Clara, she shows up in Clara’s phone under the alias “Brad Pitt,” in reference to a joke that April made about Pitt’s movie “Fight Club.” (The reference to Pitt is kind of ironic, since Sprouse in “Banana Split” looks a lot like Pitt looked when he had long hair in the 1994 movies “Legends of the Fall” and “Interview With the Vampire.”)

The first time that April and Clara tell each other, “You’re my best friend,” is after they’ve checked into a motel together to get away from their routines and end up tripping on LSD together. And their relationship goes to the next friendship level when Clara, who has no family members in the area, asks April if she could meet her family. (You can imagine how dinner with April’s family goes, as long as bratty Agnes is there.)

Meanwhile, Ben knows all about April and Clara’s friendship. A great deal of what his character is all about is Ben nervously trying to keep the friendship a secret from Nick, while also scolding April and Clara about keeping it a secret from Nick.

Most of the characters in “Banana Split” are very defined in their personalities, but Nick is somewhat of a blank slate. It isn’t really made clear what his interests and goals are in life and what kind of family he has, so who he is as a person seems kind of vague throughout the movie.

What viewers do see of Nick is that he’s not your average pretty boy. For example, he has certain quirks, such as that he’s a fan of “Call Me Maybe” pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen and he shares April’s nerdy fandom of “Harry Potter.” But in other ways, he’s very much like a typical teenage guy who just wants to party.

“Banana Split” is the feature-film directorial debut of Benjamin Kasulke, who hits a lot of familiar beats that we’ve seen before in movies with female teenagers as the main characters. There’s the alternative-pop soundtrack (“Banana Split” features several songs written and performed by Annie Hart), the house party scene where one of the girls gets drunk and ends up vomiting, and the scene where a supposedly responsible character does something irresponsible just for the hell of it. (In “Banana Split,” Clara convinces April to leave her work shift two hours early just to hang out with her.)

But because the movie is so well-cast (Marks and Liberato give very convincing performances as opposite women who become fast friends), it makes these well-worn teen-comedy tropes enjoyable to watch. “Banana Split” is capably directed by Kasulke, and the movie benefits from the genuinely funny screenplay by Marks and Power.

And what about this story’s love triangle? Is Nick really over April? Are Nick and Clara falling in love, or is she just a fling before he leaves for college? And will he find out that April and Clara have become friends behind his back? The movie answers those questions, even though it’s pretty obvious that the real love story of “Banana Split” is the friendship that develops between April and Clara.

Vertical Entertainment released “Banana Split” on digital and VOD on March 27, 2020.

Review: ‘Vivarium,’ starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots

March 27, 2020

by Carla Hay

Jesse Eisenberg, Côme Thiry and Imogen Poots in “Vivarium” (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate/Saban Films)

“Vivarium”

Directed by Lorcan Finnegan 

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed city in England, the sci-fi thriller “Vivarium” has an all-white cast representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: An unmarried couple who live together go to a mysterious housing development to look for a new home and find out that they can’t leave.

Culture Audience: “Vivarium” will appeal mostly to people who like unsettling suspense stories with a sci-fi angle.

Senan Jennings in “Vivarium” (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate/Saban Films)

“Vivarium” is a somewhat haunting sci-fi thriller that’s meant to give people the creeps and/or anxiety throughout the entire film. The movie—directed by Lorcan Finnegan and written by Garret Shanley—is actually a very simple story that gets drawn out over approximately 97 minutes. The middle of the film has a very sluggish pace, but there’s enough of the story to keep people interested to find out what happens in the end.

In the beginning of “Vivarium,” there are startling images of hungry baby birds in nests, demanding to be fed by their parents. It’s a metaphor for what happens later in the story, which takes place in present-day England. Gemma Pierce (played by Imogen Poots) is a teacher at a primary school (which is called elementary school in the United States) to children who look about 5 or 6 years old. After school lets out for the day, one of the girl students finds two baby birds stomped to death near a tree in the school front lawn.

It’s here that viewers first see Gemma’s live-in American boyfriend Tom (played by Jesse Eisenberg), who climbs down from a ladder placed near the tree where the birds were found. It’s not made clear what Tom does for a living, but since this is one of the movie’s few scenes that’s set in the “outside world,” one can assume he works as a handyman at the school.

Tom and Gemma are looking for a house and they have an appointment at a real-estate company that wants to show them a new housing development in the area. When they arrive at the office, Gemma and Tom are greeted by a very creepy real-estate agent named Martin (played by Jonathan Aris), who has the kind of unblinking, crazy-eyed look that would make most people feel very uncomfortable. There’s something “off” about his mannerisms too: His smile is too fake, his way of talking seems unnatural, and at one point in the conversation, he mimics what Gemma says, almost as if he’s mocking her.

Tom senses that something isn’t quite right about Martin, and so Tom is a little reluctant to go any further in the inquiry about the house. However, Gemma (in an effort to be polite) indicates that she still wants to see the property. Against his better judgment (and since they arrived in the same car), Tom agrees to go with Gemma to get a tour of the house. They follow Martin (who drives in a separate car) to see the house where they might live.

The housing development is named Yonder, which Martin describes as “both tranquil and practical.” And it’s definitely a Stepford-type environment. All of the development’s green two-story houses and yards are identical to each other. Somehow, Tom and Gemma don’t notice that there is no one outside on the streets of this large neighborhood. It’s a major red flag of what’s to come.

Unfortunately, probably because of this film’s low budget, all of the exterior shots of the housing development looks very CGI fake. Once the characters are in the mysterious Yonder environment, it’s very obvious where the “green screen” is whenever there are scenes that are supposed to take place outside.

During a brief tour of the house, which has the number 9 as its address, Martin  abruptly leaves Tom and Gemma at the house without a goodbye or any explanation. Gemma and Tom are ready to just write it off as a weird experience, so they get in their car to leave. But every time they try to find their way out of Yonder, they come right back to the house where they were. The bird’s eye view of the Yonder housing development also looks very CGI fake, like a video game.

This circling around the neighborhood goes on for quite a bit, as Tom argues with Gemma, demands to do the driving, and then he gets “lost” too. Gemma and Tom soon find out that they have no cell phone service. And as it starts to get dark, the car runs out of gas. In a major plot hole, Gemma and Tom don’t even try to see if anyone else is home who can help. Not that it would matter, since the movie’s entire plot is about them being stuck in this neighborhood with no one to help them get out.

Exhausted by their strange ordeal, they have no choice but to spend the night at the house. The contents of the house’s refrigerator has just one item: a gift basket with a bottle of champagne and fruit (strawberries), which Gemma and Tom consume since they have nothing else to eat and drink. Tom remarks that the strawberries have no taste.

The next day, Tom has the idea that he and Gemma should follow the direction of the sun to find their way out. They spend most of the day doing just that, climbing over neighbors’ fences and trekking through the streets. But to no avail. As it gets dark, the only house that they see with its lights on is the same No. 9 house that they were at in the beginning.

Then another strange thing happens: A box of food and other house essentials has mysteriously been delivered at the front of the house. (There’s no sign of who delivered the box.) Out of desperation, Tom (who’s a smoker) decides to use one of his cigarettes to light the house on fire, to see if anyone will notice the fire and call for help. Tom and Gemma watch nearby as the house burns to the ground, before they fall asleep.

When they wake up, Gemma and Tom are covered in ash. And the house has mysteriously appeared again, completely intact, as if the fire never happened. And then they get another box delivered to them. And what’s in the box sets in motion the rest of what happens to Tom and Gemma in the story.

The box has a baby boy in it, with a message: “Raise the child and be released.” Given that Gemma and Tom are stuck in this weird limbo environment, they basically don’t have a choice but to raise the child. (Côme Thiry plays the child as a baby.) The movie then fast forwards to 98 days later, and the baby has grown into what looks like a human boy who’s about 7 or 8 years old (played by Senan Jennings), thereby making it very clear to viewers that whoever Tom and Gemma are raising is definitely not human.

Tom is extremely resentful of the child, who has a tendency to randomly scream at the top of his lungs until he gets something. He always screams this way when he wants food, which is a nod to the bird scene that was shown in the beginning of the movie. One of the creepiest aspects of “Viviarium” is that the child (who doesn’t have a name) mimics what Tom and Gemma say in their own voices. The boy has a normal child’s voice, but more often than not, the voice that comes out when he speaks is a male or female adult voice.

Tom is quick to lose his temper and, at times, he deliberately abuses the child through physical assault and later by locking him in the car and refusing to give him food. Tom also refuses to call the child “he” and instead calls the child “it.” Gemma doesn’t like taking care of the child either, but she’s more patient than Tom is. In a scene that sums up their feelings about their forced parenting of this odd creature, Tom and Gemma both show the child their middle fingers in anger, and the child does the same. 

The middle section of the film somewhat drags down the pace of the story. There are repetitive scenes of the boy doing things that irritate Tom and Gemma. Although Tom wants to try and get rid of the boy in some way, Gemma can’t bring herself to do it, not matter how much she detests taking care of the boy.

At this point in the story, Tom has a distraction to keep him out of the house for long periods of time. He’s discovered, by flicking a cigarette on the front lawn, that the cigarette has burned a mysterious circle on the grass, which exposes the dirt on the ground. Tom begins digging the dirt and hears menacing sounds underneath. Digging as far as he can into the ground then becomes Tom’s obsession and takes up a great deal of his (and this movie’s) time. In one scene, Gemma speculates that the hole that Tom is digging will lead to hell. Tom replies, “No, we’re already there.”

Meanwhile, the boy who lives with them has been fixating on watching something bizarre on the house’s TV: black-and-white color patterns that look like psychedelic cell mutations. And in the house, Gemma finds a book that has strange coding and illustrations which are clues to what is possibly going on and what kind of being that she and Tom are raising.

“Vivarium” is by no means on the level of a Christopher Nolan sci-fi movie. A Nolan film has layers and layers of deep meaning that viewers will contemplate long after the movie is over. The ending of “Vivarium” actually explains exactly why all of this is happening to Tom and Gemma. The explanation is kind of basic and actually not all that surprising.

And because so much of “Vivarium” is repetitive (Tom and Gemma’s stir-crazy angst is pretty much 90% of the movie), the movie probably would’ve been better as a short film. However, if you’re looking for a movie to pass the time and give you some suspenseful chills, “Vivarium” should do the trick. Just don’t expect anything close to a masterpiece.

Lionsgate and Saban Films released “Vivarium” on digital and VOD on March 27, 2020. The film’s Blu-ray and DVD release is on May 12, 2020.